April 20, 2020

Celebrating a half century of creativity.

Fifty years ago, when Bailey Lauerman was established, technology in the ad agency world amounted to an electric typewriter and two dozen sharpened pencils.

One of those pencils became our first logo. It represented the basic creative tool of the day. Today those tools have multiplied at a dizzying pace. But the principles from those humble beginnings remain in place…along with a few of the pencils.

Just out of college and intrigued by the business of advertising we opened the agency. Revenue to get the place started was provided by a small biweekly tourist guide to Lincoln and Omaha we’d started in 1965 while still students.

The inspiration to start the agency was nourished by a significant change in the advertising business that took place in the ’60s. Advertisers began to realize that, in the words of David Ogilvy, you can’t bore people into buying your product. Based on that premise we began to produce ads that sought to stand out in the increasingly crowded marketplace. They did more than reel off a list of product features. They told a story about a product that was memorable, convincing, captivating, often entertaining, and above all successful in distinguishing it from the competition.

After fifty years, that devotion to the creative product continues to be the motivating force…not only for those who produce the work but for everyone in the agency who understands our obligation to the clients we serve. There is also a great appreciation for the obligation of the agency to pursue growth…acquiring new client opportunities and gaining new skills.

Successful growth means constantly looking toward the next generation of leaders. The Bailey Lauerman Commons is a study and discussion area within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism. Proudly displayed on the wall is this quote.

I wish I’d said that but I’m glad Carter Weitz did.

This agency was founded in Nebraska…right in the middle of “The Everything In-Between,” miles from larger advertising centers in this country. Today, far beyond the expectations of the founders, it serves clients with vast international markets. Jim Lauerman and I share an immense pride in what today’s team members are accomplishing and how faithfully they are fulfilling the original promise while embarking on the next half century.

Here’s a salute to the highlights of the last five decades.

Rich Bailey, Founder


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