Backer was the brains behind Coca-Cola’s 1971 ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ campaign.
And while that’s arguably one of his most famous pieces of work, he was also involved in a heap of brilliant work for Campbell’s Soup, Wendy’s, Hyundai and Avis, reports AdAge.
He was inducted into the AdAge Advertising Hall of Fame in 1995 and named one of the publication’s 100 most important people in advertising in 1999.
Backer became a household name around adland when he was running McCann.
On news of his passing, the creative agency penned a thoughtful tribute on Facebook to its former leader.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Bill Backer, one of the legendary creative directors of the 1960s and 1970s at McCann, who passed away this weekend at the age of 89.
“Bill not only wrote that ;Things go Better with Coke’ but began writing many of the classic 60-second songs that made the Coca-Cola brand so powerful. Bill wrote songs about life situations in which things go better with Coke and worked with many of the leading pop artists of the day to record the songs.
“In 1971, one of those songs, ‘Hilltop,’ shot on a hilltop in Italy, became one of the most famous and beloved TV commercials of all time. The song and the TV spot soared back into pop culture as the closing moments of the hit AMC TV series ‘Mad Men’, with the song saving the career of the fictional antihero Don Draper.”
Backer left McCann in 1979 to found his own agency with Carl Spielvogel, Backer and Spielvogel. The agency was later sold to Saatch & Saatchi, and ended up merging with another ad agency Ted Bates Worldwide.
Tributes have started pouring in on social media.
A toast to the man behind “Tastes Great, Less Filling” + “Miller Time” ?https://t.co/li8vPbA2Zj
— MillerCoors (@MillerCoors) May 16, 2016
— Stuart Elliott (@stuartenyt) May 16, 2016
Bill Backer, ad legend behind “I’d like to buy the world a coke” “Millertime” “Tastes great, less filling,” has died https://t.co/j0OMa2L387
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 16, 2016
“Building brands is about making them human and personal.” Bill Backer #advertising legend
— Michael Gass (@michaelgass) May 16, 2016
Medallia has appointed Heather Paterson as its new ANZ country manager to drive further growth across Australia and New Zealand. With a strong sales performance and leadership background, Paterson joins Medallia as ANZ country manager following more than seven years with leading SaaS financial technology provider, Intralinks, where she was most recently director for Asia […]
Spikes Asia today announces that the 2021 awards will take place in February, bringing them forward to the first quarter of the year. Judging for the Spikes Asia Awards, the region’s most prestigious creative branded communications accolade, as well as the Tangrams Awards and Young Spikes competitions will all take place in February 2021. In […]
Following a rigorous round of online judging by 133 industry experts, The Communications Council today announced that 88 finalists from 24 agencies on behalf of 36 clients have made it into Round Two of the Australian Effie Awards. Finalists will now compete for Effies, Australia’s only awards based on proven advertising effectiveness – across 26 […]
Integral Ad Science (IAS) today announced the launch of “Channel Science”, an industry-leading partnership between Channel Factory and IAS. The Channel Science solution helps advertisers to leverage both companies’ technologies through a single product to ensure their YouTube campaigns are brand-safe, brand-suitable, and performance-optimized. More than ever before, advertisers are searching for ways to streamline their media buying and improve […]
WPP AUNZ has launched its inaugural podcast series, led by WPP AUNZ Chief Strategy Officer, Rose Herceg (pictured). The podcast series will focus on the company’s recent thought leadership study: Secrets & Lies Chapter 4, Humanity & the Machine. Aired over the next few weeks, each discussion will take a deep dive into exploring the role […]
Westpac Group today announced it has partnered with Verizon Media’s Omnichannel DSP across its entire brand portfolio including Westpac Bank, St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Bank of South Australia. The new partnership gives Westpac Group access to Verizon Media’s end-to-end strategic marketing and planning capabilities including: first-party data based audience insights; full-service omnichannel […]
Network 10 is set to undergo a massive restructure, leaving a number of high-profile journalists out of a job, including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey, B&T understands. As first reported on The Sydney Morning Herald, the restructure was announced to staff on Tuesday. As part of the restructuring, the presentation of the weekday […]