On Rules


Here are some excerpts from Saturday’s post on Seth Godin’s Blog:

…Let me be really clear: My job is not to tell you what to do. I don’t know what to do. You do.

Not just me, of course. Everybody with a blog or a book or an interest in your success. Don’t do what they say. Listen to their questions instead.

…I don’t have a lot of patience for this list of seven rules or that manual of how it’s supposed to be or the step-by-step road map you can purchase today only. I think you’ll do a lot better if you get optimistic about the future and cynical about pat answers at the same time instead.

I thought about this in light of one of my posts called 10 Rules for Print Ads. Some of these rules should never be broken, such as being truthful in advertising and avoiding hype. Other than that, I talk about what’s logical and what makes sense or doesn’t make sense to me.

One of the limitations of my perspective is that I’m not privy to the sales figures for a particular advertiser. I might talk about how awful I think a particular ad is while the advertiser is happily raking in cash as a result of the ad. Conversely, an ad that I praise as being effective may be a colossal failure at increasing sales.

I went to art school, so I have a background in design and photography. I’m a writer, so I know a few things about writing copy. If you’re out in the field creating ad campaigns, you know your job better than I do.

My rules are intelligent and logical. But like most rules, they’re made to be broken every now and again. If you’re a marketer or creating advertising, your job (as Seth would say) is to create something remarkable.

Frequently, that means breaking the rules.

By Marc Librescu


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