5 Things I learned about advertising from reading Hey Whipple, Squeeze This

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Now that I’m out of college, I finally have time to read all those books my professors suggested, but I couldn’t fit in with all the partying studying the effects of C2H6O on the decision-making skills of college students. And beer pong. One such book was Luke Sullivan‘s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. And, damn, I should have done this sooner.

Here’s 5 things I took away from my read. Do yourself a favor and read it. There’s a lot more in there.

Less is more.

Every element you add to a layout reduces the importance of all the other elements. And conversely, every item you subtract raises the visibility and importance of what’s left. – Luke Sullivan

Seems obvious.  If I want you to look at something I’m not going to show you a bunch of different things. I’m not a magician trying to distract you from what is really going on with my tricks. Just look how much is said with so little in this ad.

Coldene final

How to be a Creative Alchemist

The thing is, when you can become at least conversant in these other more technical disciplines, you’ll be a better creative and a better team member. But when you become fluent in them— and can even execute on occasion— you’ll become the sort of go-to “creative alchemist” every agency on the planet is trying to hire. – Luke Sullivan

Being able to do a wide variety of things has opened a lot of doors for me in my brief career. At least that’s how I convinced my advisor that a screenwriting class should count towards one of my Master of Business Administration degree electives.

Execution is huge. A lot of people can think up an idea, but only a select few can bring that idea into the world. And do it well.

Plus, “creative alchemist” sounds a lot better than telling your parents you “don’t want to pigeon hole your career choice” when you’re calling to ask for money.

To Serve and Create

We are in a service business. And our service isn’t over when we present something we like. It’s over when we present something they like. – Luke Sullivan

This is a great thing to keep in mind. Clients may seem unreasonable, but they’re paying you to use your skills to create something for them. Do it and smile.

Get There First

Reebok could’ve said “Just Do It.” Nike got there first. – Luke Sullivan

What do you think “Just Do It.” is worth to Nike? That’s their brand. It’s much more than shoes. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s your buddy telling you to go for it. Even though it doesn’t mention the product, it says everything about Nike.

Don’t Suck

Don’t suck. And create something so cool you don’t have to pay people to see it.

Mom’s don’t count, they’re obligated to think you don’t suck. If you can create something people want to see they’re going to spread the word for you. Then you can lean back and light your cigar with a $100 bill.

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