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.

From ~ Al Ries & Jack Trout, in Bottom-Up Marketing, 1989
Every marketing plan desperately needs a healthy dose of reality. Yet the temptation to go off into the wild blue yonder is sometimes overwhelming. The comments around the conference table are more likely to be blue sky rather than brown earth. “Everybody is drinking Perrier.” “Nobody smokes anymore.” “Domestic cars are dead.” You get the picture. Don’t do your thinking around the conference table. It’s too easy to be led astray by the fad of the week. Reality is not an exciting topic, which is one reason why business schools don’t teach reality.

Posted: January 21, 2018 In: Wisdom from Advertising Greats

From ~ Roy H. Williams in Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, 1999
Long-range planning may be the goose that lays the golden eggs for big companies, but it can be the wild goose of the proverbial chase for small ones. The only advantage of smallness in business is the ability to respond quickly to the opportunities of a changing marketplace. You can get your goose cooked if you commit to an inflexible, long-range plan in a small, nimble company. Rarely have I seen a small business 5-year plan that had any value at the end of 18 months.

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

From ~ John O’Toole in The Trouble With Advertising, 1981
I do not like to destroy cherished illusions but I must state unequivocally that there is no such thing as subliminal advertising. I have never seen an example of it, nor have I ever heard it seriously discussed as a technique by advertising people. Salesmanship is persuasion involving rational and emotional tools that must be employed at a conscious level. Furthermore, it’s demeaning to assume that the human mind is so easily controlled that anyone can be made to act against their will or better judgement by commands they don’t realize are present.

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

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