Rosser Reeves

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Rosser Reeves

Rosser Reeves (* 1910 ; † January 24, 1984 ) was an American advertising pioneer who further developed television advertising. He also introduced the concept of USP ( Unique Selling Proposition, USP ) into the marketing theory and practice. He defined the term in 1940 as a unique "sales promise" in the context of advertising a product or service. This unique selling point should be such that it sets the benefits of the product to be marketed apart from those of the competitors' products. This benefit used generally relates to a specific property that other products do not have or do not claim for themselves. The target group addressed in this way should thereby form preferences for the advertised product and ultimately buy it.

As part of his work for the advertising agency Ted Bates & Co, New York, he tried again and again to identify this unique selling point in the products he was advertising in a target group-oriented manner and then to implement it in a target group-oriented manner. The dominant idea was to clearly work out and present the reason why a consumer should purchase the advertised product. In the US presidential election campaign in 1952, Rosser Reeves also implemented this unique selling proposition in election advertising. The Republican Party had hired him to promote Dwight D. Eisenhower . What followed was an upheaval in election campaigns, as he - successfully - marketed the candidate like soap.

In his book “Reality in Advertising” (Knopf, New York 1961), he provided the theory behind the unique selling proposition that he had practiced. He conclusively demanded that the advertising should clearly convey why the consumer should buy the advertised product (and no other). It is essential that the product must also deliver what the advertising promises. Otherwise, the success will not be permanent.


  1. Brief CV (eng.)