James Hartzell

James W. Hartzell (December 25, 1931 – September 11, 2010) was an American advertising copywriter. He created many successful advertising campaigns. He is principally recalled for originating the 1974 "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet" campaign that Car and Driver and other publications have ranked as the best automobile commercial of all time.[1][2][3] Car and Driver explained its pick of Hartzell's ad: "This was the game changer. It was to national television what the electric starter was to automobiles. It changed car commercials forever. It was the beginning of brand advertising as we know it and remains the best of it."[3] Advertising legend David Ogilvy went even further, calling Hartzell's Chevrolet spot "his favorite commercial of all time, not merely his top car spot."[3] In the 1960s, he also originated the "Ask the kid who owns one" campaign for the Camaro.[2]

James Hartzell
BornDecember 25, 1931
DiedSeptember 11, 2010
OccupationAdvertising copywriter


  1. ^ Joe Rossiter (September 15, 2010). "James Hartzell: He created 'the best automobile commercial ever made'". Detroit Free Press.
  2. ^ a b Mark Hicks (September 15, 2010). "James W. Hartzell, Grosse Pointe: Ad man's creations resonated with public". The Detroit News.
  3. ^ a b c ""Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet" Chevrolet - 10 Best Car Commercials". Car and Driver. January 2005.