David Ogilvy’s Guide To Writing Ads Explained Part 6

The 6th of Ogilvy’s rules (or elements as I’m calling them) is right up there with the best advice all copywriters need if they want to succeed (and it has nothing to do with rhyming).

Take a look at the previous sentence. Notice the parts in brackets. Are they useful? Are they important? Do they add to the copy?

The answer is no. Just as this sentence you’re reading right now (and the previous paragraph) is about as useful as a sieve to collect water.

Those bits in brackets are pointless (Ogilvy used the term boring, but pointless is better).

I’ll not labour any more on this other than to say: if you find yourself writing superfluous words, that is, words that do nothing to take the reader forwards, cut them out without mercy. End of.

PS. You may also have noticed that I’ve been trying to include images of the elements in this series, but have been failing dismally. So instead I used a highly poisonous mushroom that, just like pointless words, will kill your copy stone dead if not properly prepared.

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