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22 Irrefutable Laws of Advertising

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22 Irrefutable Laws of Advertising

(and When to Violate Them)


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

For great ads, all you need is love, relevance, emotion, irreverence, originality, consistency and a silver elephant.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This book is a series of short essays about the elements that contribute to good advertising. The 22 "laws" are really not laws at all. Each one is an informative, inspirational article about a particular point in advertising’s creative or management process. Separate contributors wrote each of the 22 "laws." Author Michael Newman identifies each writer as an accomplished ad industry pro. As a result, this book offers some good examples of ads from a worldwide perspective, which is especially important since the industry seems to be floundering globally. The essays are short, often interesting, but sometimes unevenly focused. Some contributors took their assignment more seriously than others did, and a few should never have even made it into the book. But thinks most advertising professionals will find something inspirational here.


Conventional, Yet Imaginative

Advertising is a complex process that has to build a creative spark before it can connect with potential buyers. But advertising is also grounded in the real world. It is expensive, so it has to produce measurable results. It must be conventional, yet imaginative. Slashed budgets further strain the business. No wonder the advertising business is in trouble worldwide. Agencies increasingly rely on research that saps creativity, and fewer ads produce the desired result. Thus, new approaches are needed. The following 22 suggestions are guidelines for producing better ads and understanding what challenges lie ahead for the advertising industry.

  1. "The Law of Simplicity" - Ads must work in an increasingly noisy world. Too much new information is being exchanged. Adhere to Ockham’s Razor, which states that when two good answers solve a problem, the best answer is the most simple one. But being simple is not easy nor as instantly admired as being complex. Yet, a good ad must be simple, though not stupid - and it must be subjective enough to be credible.
  2. "The Law of Positioning" - Positioning shows customers where...

About the Author

Michael Newman is the founder of brandnewman, an "ideas company," and the author of Creative Leaps. He is also the former executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi in Australia. Newman is a regular columnist in trade magazines and has lectured on advertising subjects in Asia and South America. In December 2003, he launched M&C Saatchi’s second agency network, DNA, in Australia.

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