If I had more time
I would have written less

By Adam Fausset

There is a quote which I like to run out, ad nauseam. Almost to the point where I’ve invented its origin in my head. You know what I mean. You say something so much that the story around it is total fact in your head. And when you bore people with it, you say it so emphatically and with such utter belief that people believe you without a whiff of doubt.

So what is it?

Well I say it’s this ‘If I had had more time I would have written less’

I love it.

It’s a contradiction in terms. But for me, one of the great truths in advertising.

You see, word smithing is an art (I’m doing my best here, but I haven’t got a lot of time!)

The longer a piece of prose is, the longer a story goes on, the more likely people will lose interest.

The digital world is proof of this.

This means they never get to the end of the story and so that indelible print is nowhere to be seen.

In one ear out the other.

Almost without doubt, the best advertising, particularly print, outdoor and digital is simple, insightful, knowing and to the point.

Please prove me wrong if you can. There are always some anomalies. A minor whiff as it were!

So below are some examples, old and new and urr… some obvious:

Attitude, confidence, inspiration AND part of a bigger campaign.
Not a particularly original choice. But still brilliant. 
This is a great example. Simple, you could list a whole host of reasons why Toupe Trump would be wrong, but it all boils down to one salient point. So say it!
Some campaigns have such longevity and breadth that the longer they live in the public psyche, the shorter the more pithy the lines can become.
This old chestnut, great play on words. Get to the nub of the problem immediately.
I wonder if when Mercedes briefed the agency, they told the account man, you’ve got as long as you want on this brief! In fact they had so long arguing back and forth over a line with the client that they ended up with nothing!

But what about the origin of that saying I hear you say? Get to the point, practise what you preach Mr blogger man. 

I tell people its Samuel Pepys. They nod sagely. Hmm, bloke in London in the 17thC. 

He wrote ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ I guess that kinda fits. 

Well I googled this bad boy. And I got nowhere. 

Blaise Pascal is cited as saying something similar, as is Churchill and Cicero. 

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. It can be anybody, the fact is, if you apply this logic to your working life in the ad world, you’ll do well. 

Just make sure you have enough time.