Legendary Adman/Madman, Bill Backer has died at the age of 89. He was best known for his creative on the “Hilltop” commercial for Coca Cola in 1971 while at McCann Erickson. The famed spot had a revival in the final episode of Mad Men when Don Draper closed the series dreaming up the commercial while at a ashram. Below is an interview about his work on this famed commercial.

Backer was at McCann Erickson for 25 years before going on to co-found Backer & Spielvogel with Carl Spielvogel of Interpublic. Seven years later the firm was sold to Satchi and Satchi. Backer & Spielvogel was eventually merged by Saatchi into Ted Bates Worldwide and was renamed Backer Spielvogel Bates in August of 1987. In 1994, the agency dropped the name of its founders and became known as Bates Worldwide.

Backer was an Advertising Hall of Famer and named one of Ad Age’s 100 Most Important People in Advertising in 1999. His work was prolific having created campaigns for Miller Lite, Wendy’s, Campbell Soup,  Avis, Beech Nut Gum, Hyundai, and many more top brands.

A Charleston, SC native, Backer spent his final chapter years in The Plains, Virginia raising horses and cattle on Smitten Farm.

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