The 10 Commandments of Advertising


When it comes to Advertising by Advertising Agencies,there are certain things that simply must be set in stone. Presenting the 10 commandments of Advertising from the book of Zuleika:


The Advertising Team here means the Creative Team- the ones directly responsible for coming up with the advertising creatives (Copywriters & Graphic Designers). When I say You shall have no other team before it, I mean every Agency must recognize the worth of their Creative Team, for they are the ones who are highly talented, highly overworked & highly under-appreciated.  So yes, the other departments of the Agency can pressurize them to get creative, but must give them the space to do so. And don’t forget to say thank you. Your Creative Team will then proceed to love you more than they love coffee.


Love them or hate them, your Client is your Client. So do not besmirch their brand name in private, while increasing your efforts to make them adored via advertising in public. Even the most difficult Clients have lessons to teach. The occasional ranting with your colleague is fine, since you need to get it off your chest. But what happens in the Agency stays in the Agency. Don’t take your work home with you.


Miss the bus and you may have to take a walk. Do not be tardy with your Clients as delaying your Clientele requirements will not only create a bad image of your Agency in the minds of your Clients but result in the Client wanting to erase your Agency from their minds entirely. Do not miss the bus.


Socrates believed it was very important to Know Thyself. The same is true of an Advertising Agency. However while advertising, the Agency mustn’t be so caught up in knowing itself & putting so much of itself in the work that it forgets knowing the Client. Cater to the Audience the brand is serving, else your advertisement will leave behind much food for thought. And not in positive manner, no matter how tasty it is.


Easier said than done. In order for this to work:  1. The Agency has to believe in itself. 2. The Client has to believe in the Agency. Advertising that is truly creative has a fearless look about itself. The fearless look says this brand has balls while indirectly saying the one who made it has bigger balls. All in all, when it comes to creativity, every Agency should grow a pair. Be brave.


“Adulterate” in this context stands for two things. The first being creative adultery- do not cheat on your design & copy. Both elements are equally important to the creative and are subject to the discretion of the Copywriter/ Graphic Designer. Use your words/ graphics wisely. The second is adulteration- never compromise on the quality of your creative. Even the simplest of ads can be made to look like a million dollars if the concept is invaluable.


Every Agency must stay true to itself. The only way it can do this is by being itself. Just as every person is an original masterpiece, every Agency is an artist in itself. Stealing the idea of another Agency implies that you acknowledge they have done something great and that you feel threatened enough to change/ improvise on it. While these lead to some of the most creative battles of the Agencies we have ever seen before, in a truly Game of Thrones manner, I must state “Lawsuits are coming”.


Shakira’s hip don’t lie. We have all seen it in action so we know it to be true. We are happy with Shakira because we know her song rings true. It should be the song of every Ad Agency. While Ad Agencies may stretch the truth a little, taking creative freedom into play, do not misrepresent the brand. Do not promise the Audience something you know the brand won’t give them or something that is a blatant lie. Research on the brand & testimonials from the people who have used the brand will help the Agency put their finger on which truthful aspect of the brand they can explore creatively. The Agency must do their homework, before class is out.


It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away.

Pictures say a thousand words.

Whether graphic or text-based don’t give the Audience more than they can chew. Let your copy or graphic sell 1 USP. Audiences have the attention span of puppies and throwing them too many bones may either make them sick or cause them to lose interest in the game of fetch altogether.


Time is money. Sometimes it’s tempting to go with a great advertising idea or method. However great ideas/methods are costly. Not to mention time consuming. So hold in your great idea for the next Client who decides your Agency services are worth their weight in gold & are willing to pay for it than the Client who wants you to stick with simple because he can’t afford it. Whether the worth of an Agency is measured in going with simple or great, the worth of the Client should never be questioned.


Image credit

Parting of the Red Sea Advertising (

So let it be written so let it be done (



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