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March 20, 2021 7:36 pm  #1

We lost one of Canada's best creative ad men

When I first started in Radio, I was in the ad sales end of it...and I remember listening to the Radio Advertising Bureau's award winning ads...they sent us an ad kit and a cassette of the ads that jumped out at me were produced, voiced and or written by Syd Kessler. 

The 2 ads I loved listening to was for Downtown Cellular, Syd did a Abbott and Costello bit to advertise this Cantel (Now Rogers) of those ads is heard at about the 14 minute mark on the video reel below...

Another was for the Chinese Food/Deli mashup restaurant Ginsberg and fact in the video below, at 5:22 you will hear a few of those ads. He also wrote the Pizza Nova Commercial too (4-3-9- 0-0-0-0 Pizza Nova)!!!

Being new in the business, these ads were funny, creative, catchy and "Kitschy" too. 

Syd also headed up Supercorp back in the day. He went on to a few business ventures and about 20+ years ago I went to visit him at his office, he showed me a new ad technology, it was virtual reality...3D edge and brilliant.

Syd was super creative. He was a mystic (Studying at the Kabbalah Centre in Toronto), a magician, business owner, author, speaker...

He passed away at the beginning of March...below is a nice write up and tribute and I also featured a reel of some of his work, give it a listen, it will bring back radio memories...and TV memories too, as there are ads for YTV and CBC TV too  (after the 10 minute mark in the video)


Last edited by Muffaraw Joe (March 20, 2021 7:38 pm)

The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...

March 20, 2021 8:25 pm  #2

Re: We lost one of Canada's best creative ad men

Musician Bill King also did a lengthy tribute piece on that may interest you.


March 21, 2021 6:07 am  #3

Re: We lost one of Canada's best creative ad men

Thanks for the memories some of those spots bring back! To the days where some of the ads were entertaining enough to keep me listening to the same station. I had  forgotten about Randy River stores until I heard those spots.Then I remembered a few times the wife would drag me into one of the stores, and try to convince me to put on some of the latest fashions! And going to Ginsberg and Wongs for a Groovin' Ruben (however it's spelled.) When the sever brought the meal to the table, I'd start singing  'Groovin on a Ruben afternoon'. That's about the time my wife would elbow me in the side and say 'hush,up and eat!

Last edited by Norman peters (March 21, 2021 8:04 am)


March 21, 2021 11:34 am  #4

Re: We lost one of Canada's best creative ad men

Syd Kessler was definitely one of the best anywhere.  That demo reel was outstanding, shows all of the work and production that went into the commercials.  Toronto had some of the best jingles, writers and producers back in the 70's and 80's.  Often Dale Patterson's Airchecks of the Week on Rock Radio Scrapbook have the commercials breaks included, and when you listen to Toronto radio from this era the production and jingles are second to none.