Last night I caught sight of a Tweet from @caff, which had a good piece of advice wrapped up in a sweetly-written sentence.

The gist of it was: Flesh out the good ideas, flush out the bad ones.

It reminded me of my own nugget, designed to remind myself to avoid the obvious:

Think lateral, not literal.

Both are, of course, throwaway, almost twee. But they do, also, offer advice and are easily remembered. Like all good pithy phrases. Or taglines. Or headlines.

The world is littered with witty (and not-so-witty) truths, but they do resonate with people. Like all good word-play, they feel good to say as the mouth wraps itself around the words. Alliteration can do the same.

All this pondering on language and aphorisms made me wonder if there were other, similar pieces of concisely delivered advice in advertising.

Immediately, David Ogilvy’s famous ‘Why keep a dog and bark yourself’ came to mind. And then Bill Bernbach’s must-recited quote, “We must stop believing in what we sell and start selling what we believe in.” I suspect Don Draper had a few, although none come to me without a Google search. Sorry Don.

I haven’t yet gone and done a search for more. Maybe you’ve got one or two of your own?

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