Dave Remer: A Super Salesman From The Git Go…

Dave Remer may have taken a circuitous route to the advertising business, but if marketing is about selling—and it is—then he’s been hard at work since his youth.

At age 12, he was selling Christmas baskets door-to-door. Soon after, it was Fuller Brushes, a company for which he became a regional manager at the ripe old age of 16. At 19, he became national sales manager for TeleColor of Hollywood—a family portraiture company for which he personally had set the pace for sales.

After a brief stint running a one-man carrot-juice company, Dave walked into a Chevrolet dealership one day for repairs to his truck, and his life changed forever. Having observed the sales team for all of five minutes, he told the manager that he could do much better—and preceded to make good on that promise—achieving Salesperson of the Month so often that the award became an afterthought.

This was the beginning of more than two decades in the auto industry, where Dave turned his innate ability for face-to-face selling into more classical marketing and advertising activities, and where he was smitten by the power of a strong brand.

Foregoing the ‘Price Slashed/Too Much Inventory’ messaging that dominated the auto industry (and still does), he created marketing and advertising campaigns that generated big demand, unheard-of customer loyalty and record profits—all while selling cars at full price. The programs he invented in those years (such as the ‘Hassle-Free Loan Car’) made noise throughout the country and subsequently became standard practice within the industry.

During this time, Dave became well-known in the Seattle marketing community and there was some talk of him joining John Brown & Partners (now a fellow IMMORTAL). While that never happened, he did begin to take on freelance marketing assignments around town, including a going-out-of-business radio campaign for Gillies Jewelers that was so popular people were calling their radio stations to see when the next spot would air. From this point on, he knew he wanted to go into advertising full-time.

A few highlights over the last quarter-center include…

• A radio/print campaign for the University of Washington Physicians so effective that it needed to be turned off, because their call center wasn’t ready for the response.

• Many TV spots for ESPN and ABC Sports—including ones for ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series that became the longest-running spot in the network’s history.

• Working directly for Bill Gates in the reinvention of his stock-image company, Corbis. Over a five-year period, Dave and his team breathed new life into what had become a tired brand—creating worldwide print campaigns in multiple languages, new sales programs and a global promotion that literally took over the Cannes Advertising Festival—and won a prestigious Gold Lion in the process.

• Creating, incubating, executing and advertising a series of exclusive remerinc initiatives—including a restaurant on the Oregon coast, a personal-safety app and a rental-home company.

The Process: New inductees are added to the MARKETING IMMORTALS pantheon periodically. The 2017-2018 inductees (Larry Coffman, Rick Stanton, Marilyn Hawkins and Dave Remer thus far) will be recognized at THE EVENT on May 23, 2018, where the 2017 MARKETING Award winners will be revealed. Their career commentaries, which are the heart of the IMMORTALS concept, appear on the marketingimmortals.com microsite, along with those of the other members enshrined to date.