Back to the Classics: Quotes From the Master

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Being a doting disciple of legendary ad man Bill Bernbach, I have quotes from him plastered all over my walls. I read them over and over when I get into a creative rut or feel burned out. They’re worth a column all to themselves. And here it is:

“In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.”

“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

“In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.”

“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 dead facts to life.”

“Creativity is the most practical thing a businessperson can employ.”

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

“Execution becomes content in a work of genius.”

“Logic and overanalysis can immobilize and sterilize an idea.”

“It’s not how short you make it; it’s how you make it short.”

“I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.”

“You cannot sell a man who isn’t listening.”

“The biggest mistakes we make are when we feel we’re beyond questioning.”

“An important idea not communicated persuasively is like having no idea at all.”

And my personal favorite, the piece of Bernbach wisdom I use every day:

“The magic is in the product.”

Column written by Mark Carpenter, AAF Omaha Board Member & Co-Chair Nebraska ADDYs Committee


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