Oliver B. Adams grew up a poor kid who worked in a grocery store. He wasn’t a clever kid or imaginative. There was nothing special about him. Nothing, except for his obviousness. Yet, that simple trait led him to the top of the advertising business.
Two of his obvious successes stand out. The first was creating a fancy ad campaign for a bond paper company. Adams rushed over to the paper mill to gather the facts. He got a crash course in how the paper was made: the ingredients (white rags), the type of water used, how it was dried, and even the inspection process.
Then the obvious solution for the ad campaign came to him. Adams’s proposed highlighting all the ingredients: “every bond paper is made with carefully selected rags…pure filtered water… loft-dried…hand-inspected.”
The CEO was dumbfounded. There’s was nothing original about it. Everyone already knew that about bond paper. But Adams quickly explained, “I never knew. The entire agency uses the stuff daily and none of us know. Who are you advertising to? Paper makers or paper users?” Continue Reading…