A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads
You study pivotal people and events in history, searching for a common denominator. You hope to identify the recurrent elements of greatness; The keys to fantastic success. You search for the secret of miracles. After several hundred hours of reading, you reach an utterly inescapable conclusion: Words are the most powerful force there has ever been.
Monumental events explode with energetic words, and great leaders are remembered for the things they say. While a grand idea may carry the seeds of change, it takes powerful words to launch the idea skyward; Words strong enough to carry the full weight of vision. Likewise, great ad campaigns begin with grand ideas and come alive with vivid words.
Oddly enough, most business people have fabulous ideas; They simply don’t have the words. Their wonderful ideas are sadly short-circuited when they cannot find the words to carry them skyward.
You have seen Rodin’s famous sculpture, The Thinker, and were intrigued the moment you saw it. But how your interest increases when you hear Rodin speak of it! “What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with the brain, with his knitted brow, his distended nostrils, and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs; With his clenched fist and gripping toes.” Seeing it now with our ears, we find Rodin’s Thinker far more interesting than when we saw it only with our eyes.
Words are electric, and should be chosen for the emotional voltage they carry. Weak and predictable words cause grand ideas to appear so dull that they fade into the darkness of oblivion. But powerful words in unusual combinations brightly illuminate the mind.
Yes, words are electric. If a sentence does not shock a little, it carries no emotional voltage. When the hearer is not jolted, you can be sure he is not moved. Remember the words of Napoleon; “Small plans do not inflame the hearts of men.” Use words in your ads which are majestic; Words which have the power to inflame men’s hearts and illuminate their minds.
Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words.
Learn to use them well.
Roy H. Williams