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William Bernbach quotes

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.

Today's smartest advertising style is tomorrow's corn.

I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.

Word of mouth is the best medium of all.

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?

In this very real world, good doesn't drive out evil. Evil doesn't drive out good. But the energetic displaces the passive.

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

We don't ask research to do what it was never meant to do, and that is to get an idea.

Because an appeal makes logical sense is no guarantee that it will work.

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.

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.

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.

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.

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

If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.

In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.

Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.

There is no such thing as a good or bad ad in isolation. What is good at one moment is bad at another. Research can trap you into the past.

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.