Rating: 5/10

First published: 1961

Author: Rosser Reeves

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Rosser Reeves was an adman and he was chairman of the Ted Bates Agency, now Bates CHI & Partners. According to Wikipedia, Rosser Reeves was a pioneer of television advertising.

Reality in Advertising is about his philosophy, views, and ideas about advertising.

My notes

  • A company with a strong message may get its story into the heads of only a few people, and become rich. Conversely, a company with a bad message may get its story into all the heads, and become bankrupt.
  • Too frequent change of your advertising campaign destroys penetration.
  • If 90% do not remember it, the story is certainly not worn out. If 90% are not even aware of it, they can hardly be bored. And as for the new-pep philosopher, if only he had the figures, he would discover that by changing his story he is simply getting his brand profile into as few heads as possible.
  • The consumer tends to remember just one thing from an advertisement—one strong claim, or one strong concept.
  • Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
  • The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique—either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising.
  • The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.
  • The better product, advertised equally, will win in the long run.
  • Advertising stimulates the sales of a good product and accelerates the destruction of a bad product. To make a claim which the product does not possess merely increases the frequency with which the consumer observes its absence.
  • The comparison must not come within what we have called the deceptive differential, a straining to magnify minuscule differences; and the brand against which the comparison is made must be in major distribution, and not be some minor, unknown product, sold only in remote stores.
  • Someone once defined advertising as: “The art of moving an idea from one man’s head into the head of another.”
  • An advertising man, like a designer, must control and direct his brilliance. A campaign is not for the individual expression of his ego. It is, actually, a tool, and it has a functional purpose, which is the most complete communication with the public, the maximum projection of the message.