Mr Weeden admitted in his 2009 advertising documentary Art and copy His idea came from the last words of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, who told his firing squad “let’s do it” before he was executed.
Since the agency began in 1982, it has grown to eight offices in Portland, New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Delhi and Sೊo Paulo and now employs 1,400.
Weeden + Kennedy’s chairman, Tom Blessington, called Mr Kennedy a “very ruthless icon” and said he “had all the talent and the ego was nothing.”
“The agency reflects both their self-efficacy, authenticity and genuine humility,” Mr Blessington said Forbes.
“They’re not showmen, and I think this is one reason why they should be off Broadway, Madison Avenue.”
Mr. Kennedy retired in 1995 at the age of 54, but continued to work part-time until his death.
His final advertisement for the American Indian College Fund was published The New York Times Monday for Local People’s Day
The company landed an Oregon-based Nike, then just a start-up shoe start-up, as its first client in 1982, and quickly connected with Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
“A lot of people say Nike is successful because our advertising agency is so good,” Mr. Knight told the Harvard Business Review in 1992.
Isn’t it funny that the company has been around for 20 years and nobody has ever heard of it?
“They spend countless hours trying to figure out what the product is, what the message is, what the theme is, what the athletes are up to.”
Mr. Kennedy came up with a 1985 documentary-style TV commercial for Honda scooters, featuring Take A Walk on the Wild Side by musician Lou Reed in New York.
The cause of death has not been released.