Highlight the remarkable

We have fallen in love with the execution and forgotten the reason for advertising (and copywriting) in the first place.

People think the job of advertising is to be liked, but they’re wrong. There are loads of ads you like but have no clue what they’re for.

So how do you judge when an ad is truly great?

Bob Levenson was considered by his peers as one of the best ever advertising copywriters, and he had a great test for this.

“If you look at an ad and fall in love with the brilliance of it, try taking the product out of it.

If you still love the ad, it’s no good.

Don’t make your ad interesting; make your product interesting.”

So there you go.

The purpose of advertising isn’t simply to entertain or please you. The purpose is to present a brand or product and help to get it noticed and remembered.

That’s what makes it an ad, not an art project.

Now, with that in mind, try the “Bob Levenson” test on this Stabilo ad:

P.S. This piece originally appeared in my Nishi weekly newsletter where I share colorful thoughts on copywriting + loads of helpful resources and interesting stories. Subscribe to my newsletter here.

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