Thanks Steve,

for the kind words

in your foreward

 
“Packard advertising will always remain one of the craft’s finest examples of consistent excellence.”   So said Arthur Einstein in Volume 1, Number 3 of AUTOMOBILE QUARTERLY, way back in the Fall of 1962. Yes…Volume 1, Number 3.  With his work appearing in a couple of Volume 2 editions as well, he shared the AQ masthead with the l
ikes of John Bentley, Benson Ford, Walter Gotschke, Robert Turnquist, Charlie Betts, Henry Austin Clark, Jr., Keith Marvin and more.  Pretty impressive company, to say the least…considering he was barely out of school at the time!  Obviously, he learned his lessons well, and as a pioneer in the early effort to analyze and interpret the social and cultural impact of historic automotive advertising, Arthur was certainly blazing a trail where other enthusiasts feared to tread.  So as much so, that he ultimately made a career out of it.


Fast forward to the 1980’s.  I recall first meeting Arthur Einstein when he was a principal in his own New York-based advertising agency. On Madison Avenue, an automotive account was then considered the Holy Grail.  Not only was it lucrative business, but also served as a sure steppingstone toward future fortunes.  So the competition among agencies for an all-important automotive account was fierce

.

I was with Saab-Scania of America at the time, the U.S. importer and distributor for the innovative and offbeat Swedish sport sedans.  Not unlike Packard’s turbulent past, Saab was yet again going through the trials and tribulations of transformation and upheaval…and
trying to figure out what it wanted to be when it grew up.  The difference this time though, was that we had a new leader and spiritual father by the name of Robert J. (Bob) Sinclair, who just arrived as President and CEO.


Very clearly, Bob was prepared to venture into the then uncharted waters of “niche marketing” for our salvation.  At his direction, we lived by the ethic that if “90% of the people didn’t get it and simply couldn’t stand us, but 10% loved us, then that would be just fine.”  As long as those 10% were as passionate and fanatically loyal as we were, of course. We just knew we’d never be all things to all people.


That’s the world that Arthur and his associates stepped into when they made their pitch for our Saab advertising opportunity.  It proved to be a natural because Arthur was obviously a car guy in the car business, like us. Not only could he comprehend our oh-so-special Saab speak, but he could craft it as well. Even better, his agency was a small and scrappy upstart…as were we.  The fact is that Saab wasn’t about to follow the norm and set foot on Madison Avenue, anyway.


You need to be aware that this was a time when a number of Manhattan advertising types with automotive accounts didn’t even have driver’s licenses!  So it’s no wonder that Arthur and company not only landed our account, but also helped ignite Bob Sinclair’s vision into the spark that fueled Saab’s meteoric rise during its heyday in America. What had been a perfect storm of dismal sales was quickly finessed into a perfect fit.


Little did I know though, that I’d already actually met Arthur some twenty years earlier between those covers of AUTOMOBILE QUARTERLY.  No doubt, our paths were destined to cross on more than one occasion.  And I’m pleased to report that they have, which is why I’m so proud that Arthur asked me to write this Foreword.


If advertising is a unique combination of art and science that’s inspired to arouse a desire to buy or patronize, I’m certainly not surprised that you now hold a copy Arthur’s wonderful work in your hands.  He’s got an uncanny knack to be able to simultaneously tug at both your heartstrings and your purse strings, which is why you bought this book…and why we also sold record numbers of Saabs back in the day.


Don’t believe it?  Just “Ask The Man Who Owns One.”  Someone like me, who’s already had the good fortune to read Arthur’s illustrated history of Packard advertising.  Consistent excellence, indeed…my friend.


Steven Rossi,  Columnist

ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE

The Antique Automobile Club of America