Mr. Steinhauser worked from 1955 to 1980 at the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency in New York. Doyle Dane came to embody the golden age with campaigns infused with gentle, low-key humor and grounded in a less-is-more philosophy antithetical to the traditional hard sell that had dominated Madison Avenue.
For instance, a print advertisement that Mr. Steinhauser helped produce in 1961 used a simple approach to make the suggestion that Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey would make a more welcome gift than the usual accessories bestowed on Father's Day. The ad showed a belt coiled around a bottle and carried the headline: "Give dad an expensive belt."
Similarly, a television commercial called "Showdown" sought to demonstrate the thickness of Heinz ketchup through a parody of the film "High Noon" performed with ketchup bottles and a handful of props against a plain background.
"I often feel we embellish things unnecessarily," Mr. Steinhauser, who became a creative director at Doyle Dane, said in an interview in 1988 when he was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame. The commercial made its point quietly by echoing the plot of the movie: Heinz, like the character played by Gary Cooper, did not run. Mr. Steinhauser studied the way Mr. Cooper moved in the film's finale so the Heinz bottle would display a similar stride.
Keith Reinhard, chairman of DDB Worldwide in New York, the successor agency to Doyle Dane, recalled another of Mr. Steinhauser's ideas, a 1960 magazine ad for Clairol Creme Toner hair dye. To indicate the range of shades Clairol sold, he used a photographic technique involving convex mirrors to produce a montage of 12 consecutive vertical shots across two pages of the magazine. Cubist style, each sliverlike shot showed a part of a model's head, neck and hair. The effect was to present the woman as 12 variations of blond at once.
Mr. Steinhauser was most proud, his son Eric said, of a public service ad. It appeared in newspapers in 1967 after a bill to appropriate money for rat extermination failed to pass Congress. The page was filled with a photograph of a rat and carried the headline: "Cut this out and put it in bed next to your child." The bill later passed.
After Mr. Steinhauser left Doyle Dane in 1980, he opened his own company, Steinhauser Productions, directing television commercials for advertisers like General Electric, Miller Brewing and Volkswagen. He retired in 1990.