Good simple, bad simple

From the “Advertising Concept Book” by Pete Barry.

“Students will often create an ad that is unquestionably simple – but that’s all it is. Simple is not enough. Writing a headline like “Starts every time” (next to a visual of a car in freezing weather) communicates a benefit in a straight-forward way, but it’s boring! I call this bad-simple. As David Ogilvy once said, “You cannot bore people into buying your product.” Ads must have something else that makes them clever, unexpected and relevant to the product and its target audience. Writing a line like “Have you ever wondered how the man who drives a snow plough drives to the snow plough?” is simple yet profound (unlike the first line). So always aim for “good simple” rather than “bad simple”. John Hegarty put it best: “Dramatise the simple.”

I always loved that last line.