Settle the fuck down, Irv.

The origin of 3M’s Post-it Notes is the stuff of legend, and if you went to business school, you probably had to read the case study even though anything like it probably won’t ever happen again.

Now imagine being the ad agency creative team tasked with not only getting the public wanting the product, but also having to explain what it was and how it worked because nothing quite like it had ever existed before. Or don’t imagine it, because here’s one of the early ads.

1981 magazine ad for 3M’s Post-it Notes (Post-Its) with an excellent example of strategic and select use of color.

The copy:

Guess which message will be answered first?

If you don’t want your messages to get lost in the shuffle, put them on Post-it notes.

Post-it Notes have an exciting kind of adhesive on the back that will stick to most any surface, then come unstuck when you want them to. So you can leave your messages where they’ll get the most attention.

You can also use Post-it Notes to attach notes to correspondence, flag pages in books and magazines, or as routing slips.

Post-it Notes are available in three sizes: 3” x 5,” 3” x 3,” and 1 1/2” x 2.” There’s even Post-it Note Tape for blind-copying letters or memos.

(Note: I struggled to put the commas before the inch marks in the previous paragraph. Feels. So. Wrong.)

Free sample.

Ask your office supply dealer for a free sample. He’s in the yellow pages under “Office Supplies.”

[on Post-it Note: “CALL ME A.S.A.P. IRV”)

Post-it Notes

3M Hears You. 3M

“Scotch” and “Post-it” are registered trademarks of 3M.

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