Monday, August 24, 2009

12 Rules of Advertising and Marketing

Ran across 12 Rules of Advertising from
Bill Bernbach – Creator of the old VW – Think Small campaign in the late 60s/early 70s. Even though they come from the pre-digital age these rules still rule. Might be something to forward to your sales teams as they hit the street to help their clients.

1) The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.

2) Word of mouth is the best medium of all.

3) It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator's skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.

4) Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.

5) You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen.

6) Forget words like 'hard sell' and 'soft sell.' That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you're saying it like it's never been said before.

7) Just because your ad looks good is no insurance that it will get looked at. How many people do you know who are impeccably groomed... but dull?

8) No matter how skillful you are, you can't invent a product advantage that doesn't exist. And if you do, and it's just a gimmick, it's going to fall apart anyway.

9) Our job is to sell our clients' merchandise... not ourselves. Our job is to kill the cleverness that makes us shine instead of the product. Our job is to simplify, to tear away the unrelated, to pluck out the weeds that are smothering the product message.

10) Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it.

11) Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.

12) Properly practiced creativity must result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent.