The single most important piece of advice about advertising ever written.

That’s right. Read this and you can shred all your textbooks, destroy all your marketing decs, scramble your algorithms. It is the alpha/omega, the golden rule, the hari krishna, and anything else you might want to dub it.

“People don’t read advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”

The author, Howard Luck Gossage.

The meaning — people hate advertising, unless they love it. It is the ultimate indictment, and the ultimate blessing for this warped business known as marketing communications. This is not meant to dis David Ogilvy (The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife) or Bill Bernbach (everything he ever uttered) or Leo (Love, honor, and obey your hunches) it’s just even more genius. If that’s possible.

Of course, there are those among you who say people don’t read anymore and there are no more magazines or even TV. Fine. Just use your noodle and modify Gossage’s wisdom at will. It’s OK. He won’t mind. He’s dead.

So, for example:

People don’t visit websites, people visit what’s interesting, and sometimes it’s a website.


People don’t click on apps, people click on what’s interesting and sometimes it’s an app.

Or even,

People don’t go to stores, people go to places that are interesting, and sometimes they are stores.

Get it?

I knew you would.


One thought on “The single most important piece of advice about advertising ever written.

  1. Mantra-worthy. Love it. Loved it when I first friended you and discovered the original quote on your “About” page,

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