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William Bernbach Quotes


A legendary figure in the history of American advertising.
(1911 - 1982)

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

A principle isn't a principle until it costs you something.
 

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

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

All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.
[Advertising]
 

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

Because an appeal makes logical sense is no guarantee that it will work.
 

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.
 

Good advertising builds sales. Great advertising builds factories.
[Advertising]
 

I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.
[Against]
 

If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.
 

In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.
 

In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.
 

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

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.
 

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?
 

Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.
 

Logic and over-analysis can immobilize and sterilize an idea. It's like love -- the more you analyze it, the faster it disappears.
[Ideas]
 

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.
 

Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.
 


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