Zippo returns to Ogilvy – can they follow in the great founder’s footsteps?

Here’s a blast from the past in the present: Ogilvy has wom Zippo, the iconic American lighter that no self-respecting private eye – or, indeed, GI – would be seen without.

Cigarette lighters are not usually the subject of major marketing efforts in today’s woke world but Ogilvy in the US is Zippo’s new global creative, PR, and social agency partner.

These days Zippo also makes lighters, leather goods, eyewear and lighter accessories; butane candle lighters, and heat and flame products for outdoor enthusiasts.

Senior brand manager Lucas Johnson says: “In Ogilvy, we found a partner that valued the heritage of our brand, listened to our needs, and best demonstrated an ability to deliver integrated creative ideas and transformative strategies that will drive value for Zippo’s brand and business as we look to the future.”

Back in the day David Ogilvy himself penned lines for Zippo including: “Pulitzer Prize author, MacKinlay Kantor, has used this Zippo lighter since 1951. It still works today” and “The amazing story of a Zippo that worked after being taken from the belly of a fish.” Data-based too…

There you are then; the bar is set for today’s Ogilvy.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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