1. Go to the essence of the product. State the product’s essence in the simplest terms of its basic advantage. And state this both tangibly and memorably.
2. Where possible, make your product an actor in the scene; not just a prop. This makes for a tremendously effective method of getting your product remembered. Because the provocative element in your advertising is also the element that sells your product. This is so simply stated, so difficult to execute.
3. Art and copy must be fully integrated. They must be conceived as a unit, developed as a unit.
4. Advertising must have vitality. This exuberance is sometimes called “personality”. When advertising has a personality, it is persuasively different; and it is the one because of the other. You must fight to get “bounce” in your advertising.
5. It is little less than useless to employ a so-called gimmick in advertising —- unless the gimmick itself tells the product story.
6. Tell the truth. First, it’s a great gimmick. Second, you go to heaven. Third, it moves merchandise because people will trust you.
7. Be relevant. A wonderfully creative execution will get the big “So what” if it isn’t meaningful to their life, family, business etc. And always opt for an ad that’s relevant over one that’s exciting and irrelevant.
8. Be simple. Not simpleminded, but single minded. Who has the time or the desire to listen to advertising?
9. Safe ideas can kill you. If it’s been done before, your competition will be ready for it. Your only chance of beating the competition is with advertising they’ve never seen before. Which means you’ve never seen it before either! Be brave.
10. Stand out. If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything has been wasted.
Timeless advice by Advertising Legend Bill Bernbach.