Bill Bernbach ( … and why he matters)

If you know Avis is “No. 2,” so they try harder, you’re familiar with Bill Bernbach’s work and ad concepts that are still paying dividends decades after they were introduced. (Yes, it is possible!)

According to the Biographical Dictionary of Advertising, “Bill Bernbach changed the face of advertising in America.” So true!

As Advertising Age once wrote, “Bernbach’s creative philosophy is basic: Find the simple story in the product and present it in an articulate, intelligent, persuasive way. He knew an ad had to have energy if it is to make itself felt, if it is to perform the first function of any ad – to stop the reader.”

Bernbach recognized the importance of client opinion in the formulation of sales messages but “refused to pander to clients to the detriment of an ad’s message.” “The client isn’t God,” he said, “but at the same time one should respect him. He may be right.”

Bill Bernbach believed that advertising could move people. He believed “it is impossible to overestimate the intelligence of your audience.” He knew that honesty sells. And he proved over and over that capturing people’s imaginations makes it much easier to get their business.

The Take-Away: No matter how fashions change, studying the masters always pays dividends.

Posted: April 11, 2017 In: Wisdom from Advertising Greats

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