Category Archives: Advertising Icons

Paul Steven Stone’s Greatest Hits, #2 in a series

The ad that launched a thousand trucks! (Well, maybe 500)

This is where it all began. Before we transformed W.B. Mason’s trucks into circus trucks. Before W.B. Mason’s Low Price Assurance Detectives (L.P.A.D.) ever flashed a single badge during a cold call. Before an unsuspecting world had time to figure out what the hell we were doing. Before all that—this ad jumped onto the stage, and into the newspapers, virtually transforming a mild-mannered, quiet, almost anonymous office furniture and supplies dealer into a marketing and advertising animal.


If you hear a calliope playing in your mind, it’s because this ad signaled that the circus (in the form of the W.B. Mason sales leviathan) was coming to town. W. B. Mason had a fleet of 3 (count ’em 3!) trucks when we first launched their advertising and branding campaign, today they have around 500. Back then they had only a single location in Brockton, today their trucks travel roads up and down the East and West coasts, and across many of the major markets in-between. “Who But!” says it all!

Fighter 2

With all the W.B. Mason half page newspaper ads we had the original artwork created in full color, then transferred into black and white. This Mason ad was the granddaddy of the “Who But W.B. Mason!” campaign. Needless to say, it was a show-stopper, and totally unique in the newspaper environment.

The black and white version above is how the ad actually looked (with some allowance made for my lousy photography) in the newspapers. Needless to say, there was nothing else like it in the entire paper, and probably nothing else that proved so irresistibly engaging to the unwary newspaper reader.

To view my #1 Greatest Hits advertisement, click here. To read my story about creating “Who But W.B. Mason!, click here. To view the tribute paid to me by W.B. Mason for my 26 years of brand-building and advertising prowess, click here.  Or, if you’re interested, you can visit my web site to see many other examples of my work. To speak with me about building your company’s brand, selling more of your services, or just moving more traffic into your store, contact me at 857-389-2158 or at


Paul Steven Stone’s Greatest Hits, #1 in a series


And so my wife Amy says to me, “You’re in advertising, why don’t you advertise what you have to sell?” Which struck me as a pretty good idea and led me to this particular endeavor: hauling out some of my favorite ads and branding messages to reach new potential clients who might be in the market for a super-creative writer, copywriter, or creative director. This business loan ad was one in a series of ads that showed Rockland Credit Union obviously spending little on their advertising so they could invest their money in the community. One of my favorite campaigns. If you’re ready to create a unique, memorable brand for your business, or merely need to develop a few high-impact advertisements to get your message across, give me a shout at or 857-389-2158. And if you’re interested in seeing more of my creative work, check me out at


I, Betty Crocker

I was born at the age of 42.

Some of you might regard that as a handicap, but at the time I assumed everyone was born fully grown in a corporate test kitchen. In fact, I still think of it as an advantage; like being born with a silver spoon in my hand.

My parents were industrious and successful advertising icons themselves. Mom was the housewife on the Crispy Cornpads cereal boxes, Dad the cartoon character in the Gillette Safety Razor commercials who always stroked his chin and declared, “Feels smoother, too!”

My parents were proud of me from the start and encouraged me to think of myself as more than a mere advertising symbol. Knowing from their own experience how difficult life could be for someone who never had a childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, they arranged for me to play with other celebrities like myself. Thus, I led a very active social life, and still fondly recall those days when the Gerber Baby, the Morton Salt Girl (what a klutz!), the Ivory Snow Mother and myself would stay up till all hours of the night exchanging recipes and baby care advice.

It’s easy to judge one’s parents by today’s standards, but in truth it was a far different world back then. So, it’s not surprising that my parents wouldn’t allow me to play with Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, or that my father threatened to lock me up in the kitchen if I so much as glanced in the Marlboro Man’s direction.

Ah, the Marlboro Man! There was a fellow who could turn the head of any woman who spent most of her days on cake mix boxes. But like most things in life, the dream was far more interesting than the reality. Later on, when I had the chance to date Mr. Marlboro, I found him to be dull, insipid and totally lost without his horse. Not only that, there was an aura of stale smoke always hovering around him and fouling his breath. It was all you could do to let your nostrils open for even the smallest intake of smelly, cigarette-reeking air.

I laugh now to think of my father’s Victorian attitudes, but having worked in men’s magazines his entire career, he had seen too many unsuspecting females whose advertising careers were ruined by associating with the wrong type of commercial characters. So, except for a brief relationship with that boy who kept getting sand kicked in his face in Charles Atlas ads, I was never allowed to go out on dates until the start of the Second World War.

The war years, with their food shortages and rationing, were lonely years for me, and I recall staring down long empty supermarket aisles waiting for a chance to wave at the Gorton’s Fisherman or Tony the Tiger as they went by. By then, I had developed a line of hot breakfast cereals that put me on the shelf next to the one real love of my life.

Modesty forbids me to reveal the intimate details of my relationship with the Quaker Oats Quaker — or ‘Quaky’ as we used to call him — but you’ll most likely remember from the fan magazines that we were seen at all the “in” places, dancing till dawn, burying ourselves in confetti, drinking champagne from Buster Brown slippers.

Sad to say, it was an affair fated for an unhappy ending. Inevitably, gossip about our relationship reached into the corporate headquarters of both our companies, and rulings came down from both mountaintops forbidding fraternization between competing brands. Quaky went into brief seclusion while I was given the first of my “new looks” by my personal illustrator, a total revamp that not only changed my look but my entire personality as well.

To be honest, with my new personality I suddenly discovered new appetites rising up within me, so that stuffy old icons like Quaky began to have about as much appeal as cold oatmeal. Shocking to say, I began seriously looking around for the kind of relationships my father had always worried about.

And so, girls, I began to experiment with more exotic spices.

NEXT: “No Kitchen Could Hold Me,” Betty’s honest look back at her “lost years” and her torrid, love-hate relationship with the Pillsbury Doughboy.