Comment devenir un bon copywriter | Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This | Luke Sullivan

Le guide classique pour créer des pubs géniales

The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads


Après avoir travaillé plus de 30 ans dans l’industhey whipplerie publicitaire et dans des agences prestigieuses, l’auteur Luke Sullivan consacre maintenant son temps au métier de professeur à l’Université d’art et design Savannah, aux États Unis. Il est connu pour ses livres Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising, ainsi que son blog

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising (paru en 2003) est une source riche des bons conseils, citations qui incite à réfléchir, des phrases qui motive et qui donnent simplement l’envie de mieux écrire. Professionnel ou aficionado de la pub, cette lecture va vous inspirer, vous faire rire, tomber amoureux et détester le processus créatif.  Luke Sullivan explique tout ce qui implique le chemin pour arriver aux bon mots qui font vendre mais qui ne sous-estiment pas pourtant l’intelligence de l’acheteur. Avec ses nombreuses références, le mélange d’humour et sérieux, ce livre est un guide incontournable pour ceux qui aspirent à une carrière de copywriter.


 “If you want to be a well-paid copywriter, please your client. If you want to be an award-winning copywriter, please yourself. If you want to be a great copywriter, please your reader.”
(Steve Hayden, most famous for penning Apple Computer’s “1984” commercial)

Petite explication du titre du livre qui se trouve dans la pub de P&G ↓

Un mot sur les pubs d’avant. Si ça vend, ça veut dire que c’est bon ?

 “[…] this was how advertising worked. In the middle of a meeting, the client spat on the conference room table and said: “You have just seen me do a disgusting thing. Ugly word, spit. But you’ll always remember what I just did.”

“It was working like magic.The more you irritated them with repetitious commercials, the more soap they bought.”

“Au milieu d’une réunion, le client a craché sur la table et nous a dit : Vous venez de me voir faire un truc dégueulasse. Cracher, c’est un mot très laid. Mais vous allez vous souvenir ce que je viens de faire.”

“Cela marchait comme par magie. Plus vous les irritiez avec des publicités répétitives, plus de savon ils achetaient.”

“Norman Berry, once a British creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, put it this way:
I’m appalled by those who [ judge] advertising exclusively on the basis of sales. That isn’t enough. Of course, advertising must sell. By any definition it is lousy advertising if it doesn’t. But if sales are achieved with work which is in bad taste or is intellectual garbage, it shouldn’t be applauded no matter how much it sells. Offensive, dull, abrasive, stupid advertising is bad for the entire industry and bad for business as a whole. It is why the public perception of advertising is going down in this country.”

“Norman Berry, ancien directeur artistique britannique chez Ogilvy & Mather, a déclaré : Je suis consterné par ceux qui [jugent] la publicité exclusivement sur la base des ventes. Cela ne suffit pas. Bien sûr, la publicité doit vendre. Par toute définition, c’est une mauvaise publicité si cela ne vend pas. Mais si les ventes sont réalisées avec un travail qui est de mauvais goût ou est une ordure intellectuelle, il ne faut pas l’applaudir peu importe la quantité vendue. La publicité offensante, terne, abrasive et stupide est mauvaise pour toute l’industrie et pour l’ensemble des entreprises. C’est pourquoi la perception publique de la publicité est en baisse dans ce pays.”


Good advertising, it has been said, builds sales. But great advertising builds factories.


Travailler dans la publicité, une honte? Oui, mais ça c’était avant.

Dear Ann: I have a problem. I have two brothers. One brother is in advertising. The other was put to death in the electric chair for first degree murder. My mother died from insanity when I was three. My two sisters are prostitutes and my father sells crack to handicapped elementary school students. Recently, I met a girl who was just released from a reformatory where she served time for killing her puppy with a ball-peen hammer, and I want to marry her. My problem is, should I tell her about my brother who is in advertising? Signed, Anonymous


Il faut savoir comment dire les choses

This is Bill Bernbach: The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.

“It’s not just what you say that stirs people. It’s the way you say it.”

Ted Morgan explained positioning this way: “Essentially, it’s like finding a seat on a crowded bus.You look at the market place. You see what vacancy there is. You build your campaign to position your product in that vacancy. If you do it right, the straphangers won’t be able to grab your seat.


You are not writing a novel somebody pays money for. You are not writing a sitcom somebody enjoys watching. You are writing something most people try to avoid. This is the sad, indisputable truth at the bottom of our business.

So you try to come up with some advertising concepts that can defeat these barriers of indifference and anger.


A brand isn’t just the name on the box. It isn’t the thing in the box, either. A brand is the sum total of all the emotions, thoughts, images, history, possibilities, and gossip that exist in the market place about a certain company.

Mike Destiny, former group director for England’s Allied Breweries, was quoted: “The many competitive brands [of beer] are virtually identical in terms of taste, color and alcohol delivery, and after two or three pints even an expert couldn’t tell them apart. So the consumer is literally drinking the advertising, and the advertising is the brand.”

James Webb Young, a copywriter from the 1940s, laid out a five-step process of idea generation:

1. You gather as much information on the problem as you can. You read, you underline stuff, you ask questions, you visit the factory.
2. You sit down and actively attack the problem.
3. You drop the whole thing and go do something else while your subconscious mind works on the problem.
4. “Eureka!”
5. You figure out how to implement your idea.


“Advertising is what happens on TV when people go to the bathroom.”


Know the client. Know their product. Know their market. It will pay off.

Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favours the prepared mind.”


keep it simple 2


Think in bright colours


own something visual

Helmut Krone, the man who did what I think is the industry’s first good ad: “I start with a blank piece of paper and try to fill it with something interesting.”



Find the central truth about your product. Find the central truth about your whole product category. The central human truth. Hair colouring isn’t about looking younger. It’s about self-esteem. Cameras aren’t about pictures. They’re about stopping time and holding life as the sands run out.


Remember, styles change; typefaces and design and art direction, they all change. Fads come and go. But people are always people. They want to look better, to make more money; they want to feel better, to be healthy. They want security, attention, and achievement. These things about people aren’t likely to change.


David Ogilvy used a classical reference to make this same point: “When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.’”


Ralph Waldo Emerson: “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts.”


So as much as I hammer away on the importance of visual solutions, when you have to write, write smartly. With passion, intelligence, and honesty. And when you’ve said what you need to say, stop.

Five rules for effective speech writing from Winston Churchill |5 règles pour un écrire un discours convaincant selon Winston Churchill

  1. Begin strongly | Commencer en force
  2. Have one them | Avoir un seul thème
  3. Use simple language | Utiliser un langage simple
  4. Leave a picture in the listener’s mind | Laisser une image dans la tête de votre auditeur
  5. End dramatically | Finir de façon spectaculaire

Put your most interesting, surprising or persuasive point in the first line if you can.



The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy, Tom Monahan

Hoopla, Alex Bogusky

The Want Makers, Eric Clark

Disruption, Jean-Marie Dru (Density of content and elegance of form)

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott

Creative Advertising, Mario Pricken

Freeing Your Creativity, Marshall Cook

The Creative Companion, David Fowler

Living Out Loud, Anna Quindlen

Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison

Conceptual Blockbusting, James Adams

A Smile in the Mind:Witty Thinking in Graphic Design, McAlhone and Stuart

John Dewey

Charles Haanel

Novelist Isaac Singer

film director Joe Pytka

film director Joe Pytka

the artist Nathan Oliveira



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