Advertising Legend Roy Eaton Speaks at Y&R NY HQ

Feb 24, 2017

The list of legendary figures from the ad world is a long and impressive one. And many of today’s famous figures—from authors to actors—have gotten their start from the industry we know and love. Roy Eaton, a Y&R alum and Advertising Hall of Famer, is hailed today as an influential American pianist and advertising creative.

He began his career in 1955, breaking down color barriers as the first black creative in advertising. Within his first two years at Y&R, he had become the creative force behind 75% of all the music produced. Over the course of his career, Roy created iconic jingles for clients like Yuban coffee, Beefaroni, Texaco, Honeycomb and SugarCrisp, using music as a powerful creative tool to engage people.

But long before Madison Ave., Roy’s love of music had already been discovered. At six years old, he first took up classical piano and went on to hone his talents at the City College of New York, Manhattan School of Music (where he would later teach), the University of Zurich, and Yale University. After his career in advertising, Roy became an acclaimed musician and pianist—from touring around the world to recording albums featuring the work of Chopin, Joplin, and Gershwin.

We recently invited Roy to our New York HQ to discuss his time in the industry and the inspiration he finds in music. These were some of our favorite takeaways from the talk:

1.   Copywriters should use music exercises to enhance creativity and build new perspectives. 

2.   Music can communicate ideas just as strongly as words because of its emotional impact.

3.   A campaign isn’t memorable if it doesn't enhance the presence of the product. 

4.   The work should make the audience feel better about themselves –  not just sell the product. 

5.   Advertising should aim to communicate about the world we live in and celebrate the value in each of us. 

Check out some pictures from the event below:

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Roy Eaton with Global CEO, David Sable

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 Roy Eaton with Tasha Gilroy, Y&R's Diversity Program Manager

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Roy Eaton meeting with Global CEO, David Sable, during his talk at our New York HQ.