Seen it before? It’s probably Ben Dunn.

Has everything in advertising been done before? Yes, it has. By Ben Dunn, of course. Rosenthal Partners in Bethesda, Md., is celebrating the talents of this little-known advertising genius, whom everybody rips off, by setting up the Ben Dunn Memorial Library. On it, so far, are 12 fanciful imaginings of early Ben Dunn ads that paved the way for more famous ads of today, for products like Absolut, Volkswagen and Rolling Stone. The Absolut one has the headline, “Absolutely Amazing Snake Oil,”  with a bottle of Snake Oil drawn against a white background. There are also parodies of student portfolios, overly masculine ads and one from Ben Dunn’s dark period when he did cigarette ads. Jim Landsbury and his team at Rosenthal plan on giving the Ben Dunn treatment to work that wins major prizes, and they hope other agencies will submit their own work to be parodied.

—Posted by Kamau High