Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Reductio ad Absurdum"

A friend of mine posted this quote on Twitter:

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple – that's creativity. "-- Charles Mingus

I recently bought a book called "The Copywriter's Bible" (those of you at Ad Club last night may have seen it and know its awesomeness), and this quote reminded me of one of the copywriters in the book who is currently my hero, Neil French.

Neil French's tactic for creating great ads (aside from drinking wine, passing out, then waking up and writing down what he remembers) is "reductio ad absurdum." The simpler the ad, the more effective it will be. Quoting him from the book:

"I only have one rule and I recommend it to you. In any ad, most people will tell you, there is a minimum of four elements: headline, picture, copy, logo.[...] If you can do an ad that really works, using only one of those elements, you've got a winner. Two elements only, and it'll be pretty good. Three and it'll still look better than anything else in the paper. If you can't get below four, it's possible that the basic idea isn't strong enough, or you haven't expressed it well enough."

This guy has some of the coolest ads I've ever seen, so I'm going to try out his advice.

Check out his website:

"Reductio ad Absurdum"

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