...was known by its voice-over refrain, “No Matter What Shape Your Stomach’s In.” It was a montage of a vast variety of human midsections, and an ode to the frailty they all supposedly shared. Whether fit and trim or fat and jiggling, or a ballerina’s, a hard hat’s or a fallen boxer’s pressed to the mat, the commercial vowed, Alka-Seltzer would make them all feel better when “heartburn,” “the flutters” or that “stuffy feeling” struck.
Alka-Seltzer. Can those of you who lived back in the 1960s believe how well-known a product that was? When was the last time you heard of anyone actually using it? Have you ever reached for it to relieve that "stuffy feeling?" Was it all just a con?
He was also, by his own account, not modest. “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising,” he said in an interview with The New York Times in 1983. “They come to me for great, great advertising.”
In her 2003 memoir, “A Big Life,” Ms. Lawrence, Mr. Rich’s former partner, said that hyper self-confidence was part of Madison Avenue culture. It was captured, she wrote, in one of Mr. Rich’s favorite sayings: “If we were modest, we’d be perfect.”