Thursday, June 23, 2016

Influencer Marketing: Cooking with Gas

“Influencer marketing presents a glaring opportunity for brands to leverage the power of word-of-mouth at scale through personalities that consumers already follow and admire,” says Misha Talavera in Adweek.

Influencer marketing may in fact be “the next big thing,” as Talavera says; but it isn’t new.

In 1939, build-up boy Deke Houlgate worked for American Gas Association when he cooked up the tagline, "Now you're cooking with gas!"

Electric and natural gas stoves were in hot competition at the time. 

The association hoped to persuade homeowners cooking with gas was the best way to get hot meals on the table.

Without funds for ads, Houlgate called Bob Hope's scriptwriters and convinced them to insert his line into Hope's radio show.

It became one of Hope's signature lines, and soon spread in use by other comics, jazz musicians and cartoon characters.

American Gas Association was hardly Houlgate's last hurrah.

During World War II, from inside the Pentagon, he used his magic to popularize the unpopular B-26, a bomber so crash-prone it was nicknamed by fliers "The Widowmaker." 

Houlgate also helped glamorize WACs, to encourage enlistments.

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