The Word Works

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Want everyone to love you, everyone will hate you (Everything you need to know about successful advertising, vol. 1)

Published By: John on 02/16/13
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Nakahata Takashi is one of Japan’s most distinguished advertising creatives. Born in Kyoto in 1947, he won his Tokyo Copywriters Club Newcomer Prize in 1970, followed by the Club Prize in 1979. By the early 1980s, he was already a star. Over the years, hundreds of the ads on which he has worked have appeared in the Tokyo Copywriters Club Advertising Copy Annual. The Wikipedia page about him includes two statements that embody his advertising philosophy.

“What I do is arrange ordinary, everyday words in a way that appeals to everyone when they appear in the media.”

“Copy isn’t something that you write or you make, it is something you choose.”

Two days ago I had the privilege of interviewing Nakahata Takashi. I mentioned the possibility of translating two of my favorites among the books that he has written and posting the translations on our website.  He approved the project. I have promised to make it happen,  and I can’t think of a better way to begin than to let him speak for himself. Here is what he writes in the preface to Want everyone to love you, everyone will hate you (Everything you need to know about successful advertising).

There are things that I have noticed during the long time that I have been involved with advertising. Some are tricks of the trade.  Some were discoveries (at least to me). Some were disappointments. Others drove me crazy.  Some were delightful.
Not just ads. I am talking about things I observed about clients, agencies, staff, and the many people I met and with whom I worked. Sometimes when there was trouble, I was a real pain in the ass. Now, looking back, I see how easy solving those problems could have been. Now that I have reached this age and acquired certain skills,  these tricks of the trade, all these ideas, I was, it seems to me, working as if in a dream. So I write these words as a present for a younger me, still wet behind the ears.  But that younger me is no more. I am this balding man writing this preface. I hope that those who now find themselves saying, “Damn, damn, damn!” will read them.

(To be continued)

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