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Best advertising quotes

75 best advertising quotes from industry rulers.

The futuristic philosopher Alvin Toffler once wrote, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” This is the theory on which whole scenario of advertising and rest of the industry is based. For filling a vessel, you must empty it first. The same goes with learning new things; and advertising is based on this principle. To go hand in hand with the changing scenario, people in advertising must unlearn old, to be in sync with the new. Great advertising agencies have emerged as big enterprises following the same principle. People belonging from such advertising agencies had the will to learn new things.

A successful mind is the one that is always hungry for learning. While each human being is born with a passion to learn, somewhere, by the passage of time, we lose excitement and passion for learning. The pressure to excel in any arena, be it advertising too, robs the people of the willingness to learn. People those who stick to the basics and stick to what they know from previous endeavors, can never excel in advertising. They fail to take risks and advertising and marketing is all about risk. These kinds of people always try to fix the creativity to their mental evolvement. For excelling in the arena of advertising, one must be motivated to take risks, learn, unlearn and then to relearn. This principle not only helps in the industry, but also helps in one’s personal growth.

So let us have a look on advertising quotes and try to learn something from them.

Advertising quotes based on the use of right words:

  1. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” – Mark Twain
  2. “The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Luck Gossage
  3. “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy
  4. “Every time a message seems to grab us, and we think, ‘I just might try it,’ we are at the nexus of choice and persuasion that is advertising.” – Andrew Hacker
  5. “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” – David Ogilvy
  6. “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” – David Ogilvy
  7. “I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.” – Leo Burnett
  8.  “Creativity about life, in all aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
  9. “An ad is finished only when you no longer can find a single element to remove.” – Robert Fleege
  10. “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your own family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine. Do as you would be done by. If you tell lies about a product, you will be found out…” – David Ogilvy
  11. “Great content is the best sales tool in the world” – Marcus Sheridan
  12. “I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” – David Ogilvy
  13. “Brands should think of themselves not as storytellers but story builders. We plant seeds of content and let our community build on it.” – Amy Pascal

Advertising quotes based on creativity:

  1. “Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.” – Jef I. Richards
  2. “To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.” – George Kneller
  3. “Be creative while inventing ideas, but be disciplined while implementing them.” – Amit Kalantri
  4. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
  5. “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.” – David Ogilvy
  6. “In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope.” – Peter Nivio Zarlenga
  7. “A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable.” – Bernice Fitz-Gibbon
  8. “Curiosity about life, in all its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
  9. “Creativity may well be the last legal unfair competitive advantage we can take to run over the competition.” – Dave Trott
  10. “Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret . . . to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.” – Leo Burnett
  11. “Creativity is like washing a pig. It’s messy. It has no rules. No clear beginning, middle or end. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, and when you’re done, you’re not sure if the pig is really clean or even why you were washing a pig in the first place.” – Luke Sullivan
  12. “Nothing comes from nothing. You must continuously feed the inner beast that sparks and inspires.” – George Lois
  13. “Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to obvious problems, or finding obvious solutions to unexpected problems.” – Rei Inamoto
  14. “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” – David Ogilvy
  15. “There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately, they talk the best game. They know all the rules … but there’s one little rub. They forget that advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, but an art. Advertising is the art of persuasion.” – William Bernbach
  16. “Advertising, as a single entity is capable of creating vast changes in our social structure, simply does not exist. Its impact is too diffuse, too omnidirectional.” – William Hesse
  17. “Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science, and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process.” – David Ogilvy
  18. “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy
  19. “An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.” – Bill Bernbach
  20. “There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.” – David Ogilvy

Also read: Organizational structure of an advertising agency

Advertising quotes based on truth and reality:

  1. “There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that the good advertising will do is put you out of business faster.” – Jerry Della Femina
  2. “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.” – Bill Bernbach
  3. “Advertising is legalized lying.” – H. G. Wells
  4. “Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.” – Seth Godin
  5. “Facts are irrelevant. What matters is what the consumer believes.” – Seth Godin
  6. “I am one who believes that one of the greatest dangers of advertising is not that of misleading people, but that of boring them to death.” – Leo Burnett
  7. “Telling lies does not work in advertising.” – Tim Bell
  8. “That’s the kind of ad I like, facts, facts, facts.” – Samuel Goldwyn
  9. “Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.” – Bill Bernbach
  10. “The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself.” – Leo Burnett
  11. “The worst thing for a brand is to have a kind of false part of who they are exposed out there.” – Lee Clow
  12. “Certainly, it seems true enough that there’s a good deal of irony in the world… I mean, if you live in a world full of politicians and advertising, there’s obviously a lot of deception.” – Kenneth Koch
  13. “The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.” – Thomas Jefferson
  14. “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis
  15. “Don’t tell me how good you make it; tell me how good it makes me when I use it.” – Leo Burnett
  16. “The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.” – Bill Cosby
  17. “Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.” – David Ogilvy

Advertising quotes on importance of advertising

  1. “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford
  2. “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does” – Steuart Henderson Britt
  3. “Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.” – George Santayana
  4. “One ad is worth more to a paper than forty editorials.” – Will Rogers
  5. “Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.” – Sinclair Lewis
  6. “Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.” – S Leacoc
  7. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”-Mark Twain
  8. “In advertising, not to be different is virtually suicidal” – Bill Bernbach
  9. “There’s an ad for every vice. That’s advice.” – Brian Spellman

Advertising quotes reflecting simplicity:

  1. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
  2. “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at” – Leo Burnett
  3. “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it well enough yourself” – Albert Einsteen
  4. “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Advertising quotes based on finding the right audience:

  1. “If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.” – Jim Stengel
  2. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker
  3. “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook
  4.  “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs

Advertising quotes on brand building:

  1. “Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn’t happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.” – Simon Mainwaring
  2. “Because advertising and marketing is an art, the solution to each new problem or challenge should begin with a blank canvas and an open mind, not with the nervous borrowings of other people’s mediocrities. That’s precisely what ‘trends’ are – a search for something ‘safe’ – and why a reliance on them leads to oblivion.” – George Lois
  3. “Advertising is the price you pay for having unremarkable product or service” – John Edson
  4. “Building a profitable personal brand online is not a sprint, and something that happens over night. Don’t aim for perfection early on. Instead allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and focus on providing massive value and over deliver to your target audience. Then you will get more clear over your message and brand as well. Always remember that!” – Navid Moazzez
  5. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos

These are some of the advertising quotes, which revolve around the advertising industry to learn and inspire. You may be tempted to think that as these quotes are a bit old, they may no longer be applicable. But if you notice, these have been revised, re- read and re- created with changing times and tides. But un-arguable fact stands at – “Good work is good work, period.”

Also read: Importance of advertising research for agencies