Quotes by William Bernbach

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad.
– William Bernbach
Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it.
– William Bernbach
All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgerize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.
– William Bernbach
Because an appeal makes logical sense is no guarantee that it will work.
– William Bernbach
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
I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.
– William Bernbach
If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.
– William Bernbach
In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.
– William Bernbach
In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.
– 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
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
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
Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.
– William Bernbach
Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.
– William Bernbach
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
Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.
– 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
The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.
– William Bernbach
There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules... but there's one little rub. They forget that advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, but an art. Advertising is the art of persuasion.
– William Bernbach