For a long time, nothing that happened *before yesterday* was supposed to matter when it came to what works best in marketing and advertising. Then Google changed its algorithms. Having keywords wasn’t the be-all-and-end-all anymore. Selling in print was back. Now I read endless articles about how to write effective marketing and advertising by people who seem to think they’re discovering something new … or inventing it. They aren’t! The greats in advertising discovered and perfected these ideas 50, 75, 100 years ago. And they still work! This blog is devoted to those amazing ad-men and ad-women and their timeless insights & techniques for using words to sell. Because no matter whether it’s a handbill in 1900 or a pop-up ad today, persuading using words is what all successful marketing and advertising is about. 


Posted: June 22, 2017 In: Wisdom from Advertising Greats

From ~ Joseph Sugarman in Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, 1998
Copy should be long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to make it interesting. There is really no limit to how long copy should be if you get results. I am not trying to sell you on using long copy. I use short copy at times and sometimes very short indeed when the price points are low enough that short copy does the job. Copy should cause the reader to take the action you request. Do people read all that copy? Some do.

Posted: July 21, 2017 In: Wisdom from Advertising Greats

From ~ Bernice Fitz-Gibbon in Macy’s, Gimbels & Me, 1951
Why do I make such a point of the fact that little unimportant untruths in an ad hurt all advertising? Because when there is one slip or false quote, the whole thing collapses and becomes unbelievable. As when the little girl says, “Mommy is a genius. She buys me Yoo-hoo syrup.” If she stopped right there, I’d probably believe the stuff was delicious and might even buy a few bottles to worm my way into the affections of my grandniece. But when the little girl goes on to say, “Mommy buys me Yoo-hoo syrup – the chocolate energy drink that comes in no-deposit, no return bottles,” she has lost me forever.

Posted: June 21, 2017 In: Wisdom from Advertising Greats

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