John Hughes (RIP): From DDB to Defining a Decade

By Kiran Aditham Comment

It was John Hughes’s passing yesterday more so than Michael Jackson’s that provided the crushing blow to my 80’s nostalgia. While he remained reclusive and relegated himself to penning cornball kids movies for the last 15 years under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes, Hughes basically defined high school life during the “me” decade with an impeccable string of coming-of-age flicks like Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club while later transitioning into hilarious grown-up fare such as Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and let’s not forgot he also wrote Home Alone).

But before he kickstarted his career in the early 80s with the National Lampoons and the storyline for Vacation, the Chicago native made ends meet in the advertising world. According to his Yahoo bio, “[Hughes] started as an advertising copywriter for DDB Needham Worldwide and later the Leo Needham Company, where he contributed to several memorable campaigns for Edge shaving cream and Johnson Floor Wax.” (A tipster though informs us that he was actually a CD/copywriter at Leo Burnett).

Still, it’s highly doubtful that a Johnson Floor Wax spot could stick in one’s head like characters such as Bender, Long Duk Dong, Blaine, Uncle Buck and Ferris. So which Hughes film is your favorite? Buuuuuuuuuelller?

More: “Michael Jackson Ads