I. C. S. - "The University O f The Night"

. Monday, October 02, 2006
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PERHAPS the most famous university in the world is The University o f the Night in Scranton, Pennsylvania, known colloquially as I. C. S. Its campus lights shine every night in thousands of homes and its graduates flourish in every industry in the land. I. C. S. has depended almost entirely upon advertising to get its story to the most important group of people in the world: men and women who want to study and get ahead. Thus, I. C. S. has published many an advertisement. but none more important than this highly effective example of institutional advertising, written by Raymond Rubicam and headlined by George Cecil, of N. W. Ayer & Son, as great a copy team as ever was.
The University o f the Night is obviously not one
of those I. C. S. ads to which you can attribute concrete sales of courses, but it will be hard for any student of advertising to believe that it did not fertilize many a mind for a later ad that advertised a course. Also, in my book, it is an excellent example of advertising that does its selling with dignity and poise, and, for the good of advertising, can we have too much of that?
Ray Rubicam tells me, incidentally, that this was the last ad he wrote before leaving N. W. Ayer to form his own agency with John Orr Young. He stayed at the office late one night to do it, sending it off without a headline to George Cecil who was waiting in Scranton. George Cecil, who has written hundreds of I. C. S. ads over the years, gave it that powerful and appealing title.