April 6, 2002
Marvin Honig, a leading creative talent in the so-called golden age of advertising in the 1960's and 70's, died on March 28 at his home in Rhinebeck, N.Y. He was 66.
The cause was complications related to multiple sclerosis, said his daughter, Jo Honig.
Mr. Honig joined Doyle Dane Bernbach, the agency at the epicenter of the creativity movement, in 1964 as a copywriter. Ten years later, he was named executive vice president and creative director. In 1983, he was promoted to vice chairman. Doyle Dane Bernbach merged with Needham Harper Worldwide and BBDO to form Omnicom in 1986. Mr. Honig's clients at Doyle Dane included Sony, American Airlines, Volkswagen, Cracker Jack, Alka-Seltzer, Citicorp and Avis.
One of Mr. Honig's best-known commercials was an Alka-Seltzer spot, "Groom's First Meal," that featured a newlywed couple: she is shown choosing the next night's meal from a cookbook filled with bizarre recipes while he is surreptitiously taking Alka-Seltzer in the bathroom.
Jo Honig said the commercial, which had the tag line "What love won't conquer Alka-Seltzer will," was inspired by the first dinner her mother made for her father.
Mr. Honig made several commercials for Cracker Jack starring Jack Gilford hiding his snack or reluctantly sharing it with a child. The Volkswagen ads, mostly for the Volkswagen bus, included advertisements that called the vehicle the only two-family car in America and featured it in an exaggerated circus gag with clowns, a fat lady and an elephant.
After he left Doyle Dane in 1984, Mr. Honig worked at Geers Gross Advertising and Leber Katz Partners before he was named president at Campbell-Mithun-Esty in 1987. His illness forced him to retire two years later, his daughter said.
Mr. Honig graduated from the University of Louisville in 1958 with a degree in English. He served in the Air Force before joining Highbrow Studio Cards, a division of American Greetings, where he wrote greetings for cards. His first job in advertising, before he joined Doyle Dane, was as a copywriter at Campbell-Ewald.
Mr. Honig is survived by his wife Ellen, of Rhinebeck; two daughters,
Jo and Kate; and his sister, Davise Larone, all of New York.
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company