Why is it so hard to tell the difference between lemons and plums these days?

If the public still knows a good ad when it sees one, then why have we in the industry so lost our feel for it?

Someone must have an idea of how we got here and what it will take to make great advertising again.

Orlando, author of the IPA’s Lemon, advertising’s best-selling ‘repair manual’, might just have some answers.

If you’d like to get to better advertising, then why not drop him a line? Or start by looking round this site.

If it’s plums you’re after, you’re in the right place.

The VW campaign that put agency Doyle Dane Bernbach firmly on the map. It looked different, it felt different, it was different. In the 1950s cars in America looked like something from a scientific age – more like military jets or spacecraft. At the time it was widely believed that advertising too could be reduced to a science, and it had become dull and repetitive as a result.

So when DDB took the brief to advertise this funny-looking German car, they decided to do things differently. Where others showed the impossibly long lines of their car, DDB would show theirs as small and foreshortened. Where others would talk about the soon-to-be obsolete new features of their vehicle, DDB would show theirs as unchanging. Where others would talk in terms of beauty and perfection, DDB would talk in terms of ugliness and imperfection. The campaign caught the reader’s eye; it had their ear. It made history.

Bill Bernbach knew that, to succeed, advertising needed personality. He came from a school of advertising that respected its audience, and he sought to make advertising that elevated society, rather than brutalized it.

In the last twenty years, we have entered another technical and scientific age of advertising, and I fear that some of these human principles of communication have been lost. The result is less effective advertising.

I’d like to make advertising better – more entertaining and interesting for audiences, more enjoyable for agencies and, crucially, more profitable for advertisers. Because, believe it or not, these three things are linked.

If you’d like to know how, then this site is as good a place as any to start. Or perhaps try my books. Better still, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.