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William Bernbach Quotes

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William Bernbach
August 13, 1911 - October 2, 1982
Nationality: American
Category: Businessman
Subcategory: American Businessman

Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.


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.


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


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?


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.


A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad.


The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.


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.


I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.


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


Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.


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


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.


In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.


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


Word of mouth is the best medium of all.


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.


You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen.


Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.


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


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