Nine Ways To Improve An Ad

An old 'un but a good 'un.

Sad to say that a lot of today's advertisers are still taking this advice literally.


  1. These are just about the exact comments I received on my most recent spot. And they stuck. And the spot suffered for it.

  2. I've recently worked with people who've been obsessed with calls to action. "This needs a call to action." "Where's the call to action in this?" and all that.

    I've wanted to send them your excellent post from ages ago on that very subject. But I also don't want to be fired. Ho hum.

    (Don't suppose you're hiring right now, are you?)

  3. Replace 'cleverness' with 'awards' (and update a few details) and it reads very differently:

    "…it’s a perfect example of the disease that has spread throughout our business. A disease called ‘awards’. Today, in some advertising quarters, awards are all that matters. You no longer have to have the selling idea. You no longer have to communicate that idea in clear, understandable terms. […] The result, of course, is advertising like this. Advertising that titillates the precious few who work in a Soho agency. That wins awards from ingrown groups of art directors. That makes conversation pieces at Shoreditch House cocktail parties. Advertising that utterly fails to communicate to anyone that lives outside of Zone 1. "