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 ~ 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

From ~ Claude C. Hopkins in Scientific Advertising, 1923
Frivolity has no place in advertising. Nor has humor. This does not apply to amusement advertising, but it does to all other forms. Money represents life and work. It is highly respected. To most people spending in one direction means skimping in another. So money-spending usually has a serious purpose. People want something worth more to them than the same amount of money spent in other ways would buy. Nobody can cite a permanent success based on frivolity. People do not buy from clowns.

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

From ~ George Lois in What’s The Big Idea, 1991
When speaking of a client’s “marketing problem” – an obstacle that must be overcome or a competitive challenge that must be dealt with – many advertising people lapse into doubletalk. Marketing is a voodoo word that suggests complexity and even mystery. But if you’re thinking clearly, you should be able to distill a marketing problem – which precedes an advertising solution – into one simple sentence. If you can’t, you don’t understand your subject. If you can, that “problem” can become a thrilling opportunity for inventive work … and results wildly out of proportion to the client’s ad budget.

 

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

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