December 12 ~  Jumping From Knowledge Right Words at the Right Time

"Knowledge is ultimately available to everyone. Only true intuition, jumping from knowledge to an idea, is yours and yours alone." ~ William Bernbach

Volkswagon Advertising maverick William Bernbach (1911-1982), born in New York, used intuition to work his way up from a job in a mailroom during theGreat Depression, charting a career that dramatically changed the rules of advertising and post-World War II culture.

"Properly practiced, creativity can make one ad do the work of ten," he observed. "It's not what you say that stirs people. It's the way that you say it."

His best-remembered 1959 "Think Small" Volkswagon adused self-deprecation and irony, breaking every rule of auto promotion. The memorable ad featured vast white space with a postage stamp sized car. Car sales rose by 500,000 in one year.

Known for giving personality to products, his mantra was always: "The Product.The Product. Stay with the Product."

Another memorable campaign was the 1963 Avis Rent-A-Car ad that stated, "When you're Number 2, you try harder." Thanks to the ad, in two years, Avis increased its market share by 28%.

"Everything you write, everything on a page--every word, every graphic symbol, every shadow--should further the message you are trying to convey," he said, a master of knowledge... and intuition.

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