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Leonard Rattner Advertising

The real story of a New York City Ad Man and the agency he created from 1946 to 1975. His work introduced Japanese brands from Fuji Film to Hitachi into American markets.

 
 

114 East 32nd Street, New York, N. Y. 10016

 

Leonard in 1956

In honor of the final season of AMC's Mad Men, I wanted to share the story of Leonard Rattner, He launched his own ad agency in Manhattan in 1951. His career in the Ad industry mirrors much of the narratives of AMC's Mad Men The real life experience of running an ad agency lies close to my family on my wife's side.

In marking the end of era with Mad Men and celebrate Leonard's ad firm I've curated this visual history of his life's work. His crowning achievement was the signing of Japanese accounts and successfully introducing them into American markets. As early as 1963 he secured the Fuji FIlm Company account direct from Tokyo, Japan. 

The following illustrated narrative is based on research from the New York Times, Google Books, LIFE Magazine and family oral history to tell of the story of Leonard's rise in the advertising industry in New York City from 1938 to 1975. Storytelling by Carl Rattner, Original illustrations by Michael Raisch and Co-produced by Lori Rattner-Raisch.

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1936-1938, Career Beginnings

Advertising Manager
of the Richfield Spring Hotel

JUNE 3, 1938

 
 
 

1939

 JUNE 11   |  NEWS AND NOTES OF THE ADVERTISING FIELD

Leonard C. Rattner, formerly of the Peck Advertising Agency, Inc., has been named advertising manager of the Long Island Outfitting Company.
— The New York Times
 
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Return to New York City

SEPTEMBER 5, 1940  |  NEW YORK TIMES ADVERTISING NEWS

 
 
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1943

SEPTEMBER 27   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

 

World War II Deployment

Leonard C. Rattner, manager of advertising and sale promotion of Roaman’s Inc., is taking a leave of absence to enter the armed forces. Miss Devah Woillard, his assistant, will take over for the duration.
— The New York Times
 
 Leonard in Papa New Guinea

Leonard in Papa New Guinea

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MARCH 28, 1946   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

Returning Home to New York

 
 
 
Leonard C. Rattner and Howard M. Cowee, recently returned from service with the Army, have formed Cowee-Rattner Advertising at 114 East Thirty-Second Street,
— The New York Times
 

1949

SEPTEMBER 23 & 28   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

 
Holland Shade Company, makers of window shades and woven wood products to Cowee-Rattner. Leonard C. Rattner is the account executive.
— The New York Times
American Case Company cigarette cases and compacts, to Cowee-Rattner Advertising for merchandising and advertising. Leonard C. Rattner is account executive.
— The New York Times
 

1951

FEBRUARY 2   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

 

Launching the Ad Agency

The Cowee-Rattner Advertising Agency has changed its name to The Leonard Rattner Company, Advertising.
— The New York Times
 
 
 

1951

JULY 13   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

 
The Leonard Rattner Company announces a campaign in all media for Tattoo Cosmetics, featuring new package designs on the tropical theme and including Aloha fragrances.
— The New York Times
 

1957

MAY 1   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

 
Moving: The Leonard Rattner Company to 15 West Twenty-Seventh Street.
— The New York Times
 
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1963

  JANUARY 11  |  PRINTER'S INK

Landing the Fuji Film Account

 
 
...Immediately upon announcement of the contest, copies of the Fujica ads by Leonard Rattner Co., New York, which were set to appear in national consumer magazines and photography books, were sent out for window tie~ ins...
— Volume 282
 

1964

JANUARY  |  INDUSTRIAL MARKETING

 
 
 
Leonard Rattner Co, New York appointed agency for United Aircraft Products, Dayton, Ohio
— Volume 49, Issues 1-6
 

1965

APRIL 27   |   THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY

The Fuji Super-8 Press Conference

 
The Fuji Photo Film Company Ltd, of Tokyo Japan, has a new Super-8 format movie system, which was introduced at a special press conference held at the Hotel Pierre in New York. Fuji was represented by a contingent of Japanese officials and Mr. Leonard C. Rattner, their advertising public relations representative in the USA. …After coffee and dessert, Mr. Rattner proceeds to the head of that table towards four ‘flip-chart’ stands.

We soon find how significant this conference might prove to be when he introduces himself and outlines and demonstrates ‘the New Fuji Single Straight Super-8 Cartridge System. The Fuji Single Super-8 System is so unique and its appeal so broad it has been adopted by 15 other camera and film manufactures.
— Kenneth Tydings, British Journal of Photography
 

1966

MARCH 2   |  ADVERTISING NEWS AND NOTES

Fuji Film Super-8 debut in LIFE Magazine

 

The 'Single 8' Fuji Camera made it's American debut in the May 27th edition of LIFE magazine with a full page ad. The ads continued to run through the summer of 1966. The ad also showed up in FLYING and Boating Magazines. Below are digitals of the originals ads that Leonard produced for Fuji Film.

A new Japanese home move camera went on sale in the United States yesterday, And $4-million will be spent over the next two years to penetrate the amateur-move market and build consumer acceptance for Fuji Photo Film Company products.

The marketing drive centers on the “Single 8,” a kit consisting of two 8mm. cameras, a drop-in color-film cartridge and a projector. The camera weighs 24 ounces and is said to produce a picture 50 percent larger than the image on standard film.

The advertising campaign to promote the product begins in May with a full-page ad in Life magazine and a half page in Look. Ads in those publications will through July. There also will be ads placed in Playboy, The New Yorker Esquire and other publications.

The camera is being distributed in this country by Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries Inc. The Leonard Rattner Company is the advertising agency, A more active campaign is planned for the fall.
— The New York Times
 

Fujica 'Single 8' May 1966 Full Page in LIFE Magazine

 1966 Fujica SIngle-8 Full Spread Ad

1966 Fujica SIngle-8 Full Spread Ad

Fuji Single-8 Promotional Materials

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1972

“Finer Things in Life”

LONGINES WATCH PITCH WORK

 

 Original sketching reference.

Original sketching reference.

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Leonard and his Granddaughter in 1974

Leonard C. Rattner

JANUARY 11, 1914 – MAY 20, 1977

Leonard was one of first ad agencies to introduce Japanese brands to American audiences in the 1960's. Leonard's agency eventfully become another victim of the early's 1970's gas crisis. By 1976 he was hired in-house at Lower Manhattan Ad Agency that focused on financial firms. He handled the PR for America's Cup, sadly these were some of the last accounts he worked on. Leonard passed away in May of 1977, victim of a brain tumor. He was a deeply loved Husband, Father, Brother and Friend to all. 

 

Leonard and his sons, Marc and Carl Rattner, 1975