09 October 2007

[notebook] Two Brand Icons Who Really Existed

998. From the ZehnKatzen Notebooks:

Not every commercial brand-name icon is imaginary, like Betty Crocker:

  • Evelyn Wood, the goddess of "speed reading", was a Utah schoolteacher who lived from 1906-1995. Her "Reading Dynamics" program was iconic through the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
  • Today, Duncan Hines is a well-known branded cake mix. During the early and middle years of the 20th Century's American car culture, though, Duncan Hines pioneered the idea of travelers' food and lodging guides, which perhaps makes sense for a man who was a traveling sales agent in the days before interstate highways and chain restaurants.
  • Wally "Famous" Amos was a talent scout for the William Morris Agency when the cookies he'd send home with his star clients caught on (after following the advice of friends who said he should open a shop and sell 'em). Mr. Amos lost control of his own brand some time back, but the reputation remains.

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