William Bernbach Quotes

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William Bernbach
Born (1911-08-13)August 13, 1911
New York City, State of New York, United States of America
Died October 2, 1982(1982-10-02) (aged 71)
New York City, State of New York, United States of America
Nationality American
Other names Bill
Alma mater New York University (B.A., English, 1932)
Occupation Advertising and Public Relations
Known for Agency founder DDB

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.
William Bernbach
Today's smartest advertising style is tomorrow's corn.
A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad.
William Bernbach
The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.
An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.
William Bernbach
I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.
It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator's skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.
William Bernbach
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?
William Bernbach
In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.
Word of mouth is the best medium of all.
Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.
Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.
William Bernbach

In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.
Because an appeal makes logical sense is no guarantee that it will work.
Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.
William Bernbach
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.
William Bernbach
We don't ask research to do what it was never meant to do, and that is to get an idea.
William Bernbach
In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.
Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it.
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.
William Bernbach
Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.
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.
William Bernbach
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.
William Bernbach
In this very real world, good doesn't drive out evil. Evil doesn't drive out good. But the energetic displaces the passive.
William Bernbach
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.
William Bernbach
If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.