101 Things I Learned in Advertising School by Tracy Arrington with Matthew Frederick (2018)

Don’t start with the product; start with a need or want: Vegetable juice is a product; nutrients are a need; relief from guilt over abad diet is a want. Sunblock is a product; avoiding skin cancer is a need; looking younger is a want. Automobile tires are a product; keeping one’s children safe in the car is a need; looking cool on the road is a want.

Don’t judge; discern: If the ad that results from your efforts is not to your or the client’s personal liking, remember that the point is to appeal to the target audience, not to yourself or the advertiser.

Reactance: Our interest in a behaviour tends to increase when our freedom to participate in it is limited. Reactance also can work in reverse: a high-pressure sales pitch can cause a shopper to shun an item, even if initially interested in it.

Insight on insight: An insight is not an observation or invention. When it is eventually found, an insight will be both broad and specific: it will reveal a human truth or cultural-scale experience, yet will connect concretely to the product or product category. It will surprise, inspire, and provide clarity. It will feel something you had not thought of before yet were aware if all along.

We “see” from top to bottom, left to right: In the West, we tend to view images in the same manner that we read: our eye usually starts at the upper left. For this reason, vehicles shown in profile often face to the left. This allows us to “read” their shape from front to rear.

Emote with color:
Black: authoritative, powerful, mysterious, chic
White: pure, clean, innocent, straightforward
Brown: earthy, solid, steadfast, sincere, predictable
Green: natural, fertile, renewable, moneyed, envious
Blue: peaceful, calm, stable, conservative, responsible, sad
Red: passionate, important, dangerous, active, angry
Orange: healthy, energetic, earthy, dangerous
Yellow: happy, cheerful, cowardly, cheap
Purple: creative, imaginative, royal, romantic