Jay Taylor
Topic: Marketing
Topic Overview:  
Before we make ads, we look for the hidden truth.

Circle K, you have a broken leg.”

We were not Circle K’s ad agency yet. I got a meeting with the President and the CEO. Shocked them with their hidden truth. “As you know, Circle K has 4,000 stores, Seven-11 has 8,000, but Seven-11 does four times your volume, 100% more per store. The reason is simple, and it’s nothing subtle…you have a broken leg.

First Federal needed to be admired.

Our client, First Federal was the biggest Savings Bank in Arizona; tied with their competitor, Western. We told them if they wanted to bust loose from the other guy, they needed to have people admire them. Ordinary ads won’t do that.

John Wayne, you done Arizona wrong.”

We were pitching the Arizona Office of Tourism for their national advertising. It’s a common perception that Arizona is a desolate, “Lawrence of Arabia” desert. I wanted to confirm my theory about how these myths were created.

A monkey can sell Lottery tickets.”

We were presenting to the Arizona Lottery, competing with 350 ad agencies for the contract. We heard the Governor was angry with the Lottery Commission because it was late hiring an ad agency. So we decided a monkey could sell Lottery tickets, there was so much pent-up demand…the hidden truth was, our real job was going to be much bigger than that. 

Jay Taylor


Born in Detroit, Michigan December 5, 1937
Education: Pasadena High School, Pasadena Texas
Moved to Tucson from Houston, Texas with wife Scarlett in 1961. Joined Kossack
Advertising as Assistant Account Executive in 1962. Joined Harwood Advertising as
Creative Director in 1963. Promoted to Vice President/Creative Director in 1966.
Bought Harwood Advertising in 1972, changed to Taylor Advertising.
Opened Phoenix office in 1981. With addition of The Arizona Lottery, The Arizona
Office of Tourism and First Federal Savings, Taylor was State’s largest agency for
several years, in top ten in state for twenty years. Gross annual business in eighties of
$22,000,000, with forty-five employees. Retired from running the business in 1999,
Taylor still produces ad campaigns and other projects.
Jay and Scarlett have four children and seven grandchildren and still live in Tucson.
Jay has hands-on insights into the ad agency business, and into many businesses that
market to consumers. (Not to other businesses.) Can speak to them with relevance.
In the late sixties, Jay and best friend Frank Kalil formed the comedy team, Kalil and
Taylor. They produced a comedy album, My Plumber Doesn't Make House Calls,
released by Capitol Records, and appeared on the Tonight Show, Andy Williams Show,
and made many other TV appearances.
Jay has emceed dozens of celebrity roasts, charity events and has spoken at business
meetings. His strongest talent is bringing LOL humor, especially inside humor, the
kind that can skewer a company competition and even high-profile (and thick-skinned)
people within the company.
In 2008, Jay returned to professional comedy, performing his biographical one-man
show, Better late than sorry" at Tucson Temple of Music and Art. The show was
videotaped, and has been made into an hour-long DVD.
As seen in the one-man show DVD,  specialty in humor is making it funny while
keeping it family-friendly.