St. John’s University to Celebrate the Work of Advertising Icons Ralph Ammirati and Martin Puris

Martin Puris

Martin Puris

October 12, 2023

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2023
Media Contact: James Stephen Smith, Director of Media Relations 
516-313-4568 (m), 718-990-5789 (o)
[email protected]

(QUEENS, NY, October 11, 2023) St. John’s University announced today the launch of the Ammirati Puris exhibit, an online digital collection of the advertising agency’s most groundbreaking campaigns, including those for BMW, Club Med, United Parcel Service (UPS), and more. The online exhibit will be available permanently to all. 

Ralph Ammirati
Ralph Ammirati

The University is hosting a launch event on Thursday, October 19, at its Queens, NY, campus, where agency cofounders Ralph Ammirati and Martin Puris will celebrate the exhibit alongside former employees, St. John’s students, faculty, alumni, and advertising industry partners. The launch event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the University’s newly renovated Design Factory and hosted by The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies

Media are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.  

In 1974, Martin Puris founded Ammirati & Puris with partner Ralph Ammirati. Mr. Ammirati served as art director while Mr. Puris served as copywriter. Together they revolutionized advertising with campaigns that included BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine,'” Club Med’s “Antidote for Civilization,” and UPS’ “Tightest Ship in the Shipping Business.”

“When I was approached by St. John’s to share my collection of impactful work, I couldn’t say no. I am delighted to share it with the next generation of creative minds,” Mr. Puris said. “Young people entering the advertising business should return to the one thing that made the agencies corporate America’s most valuable marketing partner—the creation of big ideas.”

The collection will showcase the work Mr. Ammirati and Mr. Puris did over the years and serve as a learning resource for St. John’s advertising students. This special collaboration offers industry access to St. John’s students and the opportunity to see close-up work from the golden age of advertising. 

“The Ammirati Puris collection and virtual exhibit provide our Advertising Communications and Public Relations students with an outstanding learning resource and help us to showcase the quality of our programs and their connection with the industry,” said Luca Iandoli, Ph.D., Dean, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies. “Mr. Puris’ contribution on the importance of ideation is inspirational for our students and faculty and the quest for learning approaches driven by creativity and intuition.”

The evening will primarily focus on the BMW campaigns and the “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline that still defines the brand 50 years later. Guests will hear from Mr. Puris himself; Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; as well as Dean Iandoli. They will also get an exclusive look at the online exhibit and see several of their advertising prints and commercials in person. 

 About St. John’s University

St. John’s University is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic University founded in 1870 by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians), with its main campus located in Queens, NY. St. John’s University also has campuses and locations on Staten Island and in Manhattan, NY; in Rome, Italy; in Paris, France; and in Limerick, Ireland. St. John’s University is comprised of six Schools and Colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business (including the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science), The School of Education, and the School of Law.

 As of Fall 2022, the University has more than 1,400 full-time and part-time faculty, 15,652 undergraduate students, and 4,011 graduate students who come from 48 states and 118 countries. St. John’s offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 16 doctoral programs.