Piels Campaign

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Friday, July 23, 2010

In honor of the season premiere of Mad Men this Sunday, WNYC’s Sara Fishko has a story to tell about Madison Avenue –- and how one ad campaign in the 1950s conquered the Northeast Region with a new, improved approach.  Here is the next Fishko Files...

Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding -- better known as the celebrated duo Bob and Ray, two of the biggest names in comedy -- are the voices behind Bert and Harry Piel. Their working relationship spanned over 50 years, and across several media: They got their start in radio, later appearing on television, Broadway and in the pages of Mad Magazine. Bob and Ray's success with the Piels Brothers campaign allowed them to start their own voice-over company, Goulding Elliott Greybar.

Ray died on March 24, 1990, but  Bob continued touring in a duo with his son, the actor Chris Elliott. They appeared together on episodes of Newhart, Late Night with David Letterman, among others. Bob is still very much around, and talked to us about his working relationship with Ray.


The Piels Campaign was unusual, and among the first to use a soft-sell approach with humor and characters. For a set of Piels commercials, visit ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.

For a classic example of the 1950s advertising style, see this commercial for Old Gold Cigarettes.


  • Special thanks to Larry Josephson. For more Bob and Ray (from the Piels Campaign and elsewhere) visit Larry's website,


Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister

Assistant Producer: Laura Mayer

Hosted by:

Sara Fishko

Comments [3]


Loved this story this morning. More for the classic beer advertising and less for Mad Men. :)

Apr. 04 2013 09:00 AM
Howard Beckerman from Flushing,NY

This is wonderful. I worked on the original commercials. they weren't animated by
Jack Sidebotham. Jack designed the characters and should be credited with that, but the original 30 animated sequences were done by UPA Pictures in their New York office at 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue. The direction of t he spots was by Gene Deitch. Bob and Ray visited the studio once, I remember. Later, other local studios animated the series Yes, the spots were extremely popular. Unfortunately they were better than the beer.

Apr. 04 2013 08:08 AM

Great show

Jul. 24 2010 07:59 AM

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