Throwing Down The Gauntlet On Creativity For Creativity’s Sake

Marc Babej has skills. Few people have ever interviewed David Ogilvy, Rosser Reeves and Bill Bernbach in one sitting, and no one has done so posthumously. Until now…

Babej: What do you think of advertising that sells lifestyles or attitudes?
Bill Bernbach: “The magic is in the product… 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.”
Rosser Reeves: “The writer must make the product itself interesting. Otherwise, a great part of his ingenuity and inventiveness will be used in devising tricks which lower the efficiency of advertising, rather than raising it.”
David Ogilvy: “If you spend your advertising budget entertaining the consumer, you’re a bloody fool. Housewives don’t buy a new detergent because the manufacturer told a joke on television last night. They buy the new detergent because it promises a benefit.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.