80 Marketing and Advertising Quotes

Direct-response digital marketing strategies can boost your sales and profits.

80 Marketing and Advertising Quotes

Here are 80 marketing and advertising quotes that you can use for boosting your business:

  1. “Advertising is of the very essence of democracy. An election goes on every minute of the business day across the counters of hundreds of thousands of stores and shops where the customers state their preferences and determine which manufacturer and which product shall be the leader today, and which shall lead tomorrow.”  — Bruce Barton
  2. “Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can’t.”  — Morris Hite
  3. “Great designers seldom make great advertising men, because they get overcome by the beauty of the picture – and forget that merchandise must be sold.”  — James Randolph Adams
  4. “If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks.”  — Leo Burnett
  5. “You have only 30 seconds [in a TV commercial]. If you grab attention in the first frame with a visual surprise, you stand a better chance of holding the viewer. People screen out a lot of commercials because they open with something dull … When you advertise fire-extinguishers, open with the fire.”  — David Ogilvy
  6. “The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself.”  — Leo Burnett
  7. “The first thing one must do to succeed in advertising is to have the attention of the reader. That means to be interesting. The next thing is to stick to the truth, and that means rectifying whatever’s wrong in the merchant’s business. If the truth isn’t tellable, fix it so it is. That is about all there is to it.”  — John E. Powers
  8. “A good basic selling idea, involvement and relevancy, of course, are as important as ever, but in the advertising din of today, unless you make yourself noticed and believed, you ain’t got nothin’.”  — Leo Burnett
  9. “What helps people, helps business.”  — Leo Burnett
  10. “Advertising doesn’t create a product advantage. It can only convey it.”  — William Bernbach
  11. “The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”  — William Bernbach
  12. “The headline is the most important element of an ad. It must offer a promise to the reader of a believable benefit. And it must be phrased in a way to give it memory value.”  — Morris Hite
  13. It takes more than capital to swing business. You’ve got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by — Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics. — Ren Mulford Jr.
  14. When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great marketer. — Lee Iacocca
  15. “It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.”  — William Bernbach
  16. “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”  — Leo Burnett
  17. “Advertising says to people, ‘Here’s what we’ve got. Here’s what it will do for you. Here’s how to get it.'”  — Leo Burnett
  18. “If you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the ad writing business at all.”  — Leo Burnett
  19. “Forget words like ‘hard sell’ and ‘soft sell.’ That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you’re saying it like it’s never been said before.”  — William Bernbach
  20. “To establish a favorable and well-defined brand personality with the consumer the advertiser must be consistent. You can’t use a comic approach today and a scientist in a white jacket tomorrow without diffusing and damaging your brand personality.”  — Morris Hite.
  21. “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”  — David Ogilvy
  22. “The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.”  — David Ogilvy
  23. “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
  24. “I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.”  — David Ogilvy
  25. “If you are writing about baloney, don’t try to make it Cornish hen, because that is the worst kind of baloney there is. Just make it darned good baloney.”  — Leo Burnett
  26. “I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.”  — Philip Dusenberry
  27. “I think central to good writing of advertising, or anything else, is a person who has developed an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them. I think that that develops more sharply when the writer has not had an easy adjustment to living. So that they have themselves felt the need for understanding, the need for sympathy, and can therefore see that need in other people.”  — George Gribbin
  28. “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, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”  — David Ogilvy
  29. “You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.”  — Rosser Reeves
  30. “The mystery of writing advertisements consists mainly in saying in a few plain words exactly what it is desired to say, precisely as it would be written in a letter or told to an acquaintance.”  — George P. Rowell
  31. “Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.”  — William Bernbach
  32. “Properly practiced creativity MUST result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent.”  — William Bernbach
  33. “In advertising — not to be different — is virtually suicidal.”  — William Bernbach
  34. “The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”  — Leo Burnett
  35. “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 Famina
  36. “Contrary to what self-appointed protectors of the consumer so loudly proclaim, advertising does not cause people to buy bad products. Nothing will put a bad product out of business faster than a good advertising campaign. Advertising causes people to try a product once, but poor quality eliminates any possibility of a repeat purpose.”  — Morris Hite
  37. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”  — Mark Twain
  38. “General advertising is Cyrano. He comes under your window and sings; people get used to it and ignore it. But if Roxane responds, there’s a relationship. We move the brand relationship up a notch. Advertising becomes a dialogue that becomes an invitation to a relationship.”  — Lester Wunderman
  39. “You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You’ve got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don’t feel it, nothing will happen.”  — William Bernbach
  40. “The spectator-buyer is meant to envy herself as she will become if she buys the product. She is meant to imagine herself transformed by the product into an object of envy for others, an envy which will then justify her loving herself. One could put this another way: the publicity image steals her love of herself as she is, and offers it back to her for the price of the product.”  — John Berger
  41. “We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promise of American advertising. I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion.”  — Zelda Fitzgerald
  42. “Fun without sell gets nowhere, but sell without fun tends to become obnoxious.”  — Leo Burnett
  43. “There is no such thing as a permanent advertising success.”  — Leo Burnett
  44. “No matter how skillful you are, you can’t invent a product advantage that doesn’t exist. And if you do, and it’s just a gimmick; it’s going to fall apart anyway.”  — William Bernbach
  45. “Regardless of the moral issue, dishonesty in advertising has proved very unprofitable.”  — Leo Burnett
  46. “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 — either by the Government, which will prosecute you, or by the consumer, who will punish you by not buying your product a second time. Good products can be sold by honest advertising. If you don’t think the product is good, you have no business to be advertising it.”  — David Ogilvy
  47. “Lying and cheating in advertising, in the long run, are commercial suicide. Dishonesty in advertising destroys not only confidence in advertising, but also in the medium which carries the dishonest advertisement. No one can be ill in a community without endangering others; no advertiser can be dishonest without casting suspicion upon others.”  — Daniel Starch
  48. “You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.”  — David Ogilvy
  49. “Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.”  — David Ogilvy
  50. “If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don’t let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else’s advertising.”  — David Ogilvy
  51. “Buy me and you will overcome the anxieties I have just reminded you of.”  — Michael Schudson
  52. “Next to Christianity, advertising is the greatest force in the world. And I say that without sacrilege or disrespect. Advertising makes people discontented. It makes them want things they don’t have. Without discontent, there is no progress, no achievement.”  — Ray Locke
  53. “When executing advertising, it’s best to think of yourself as an uninvited guest in the living room of a prospect who has the magical power to make you disappear instantly.”  — John O’Toole
  54. “Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people — and he won’t do very well in advertising.”  — Leo Burnett
  55. “Can advertising foist an inferior product on the consumer? Bitter experience has taught me that it cannot. On those rare occasions when I have advertised products which consumer tests have found inferior to other products in the same field, the results have been disastrous.”  — David Ogilvy
  56. “Advertising is criticized on the ground that it can manipulate consumers to follow the will of the advertiser. The weight of evidence denies this ability. Instead, evidence supports the position that advertising, to be successful, must understand or anticipate basic human needs and wants and interpret available goods and services in terms of their want-satisfying abilities. This is the very opposite of manipulation.”  — Charles H. Sandage
  57. “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”  — David Ogilvy
  58. “In American business today, with so many good companies offering bewilderingly similar products, advertising has become perhaps the critical factor in the consumer’s decision of which one of those products to buy. The environment is not so much one of innovation as it is one of marketing — which means the adman, more than ever, has become its superstar.”  — Skip Hollandsworth
  59. “Advertising practitioners are interpreters. But unlike foreign language interpreters, ad people must constantly learn new languages. They must understand the language of each new product, and speak the language of each new target audience.”  — Jeff I. Richards
  60. “Advertisers are the interpreters of our dreams — Joseph interpreting for Pharoah. Like the movies, they infect the routine futility of our days with purposeful adventure. Their weapons are our weaknesses: fear, ambition, illness, pride, selfishness, desire, ignorance. And these weapons must be kept as bright as a sword.”  — E.G. White
  61. “A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.”  — William Bernbach
  62. “There’s no secret formula for advertising success, other than to learn everything you can about the product. Most products have some unique characteristic, and the really great advertising comes right out of the product and says something about the product that no one else can say. Or at least no one else is saying.”  — Morris Hite
  63. “The best ad is a good product.”  — Alan H. Meyer
  64. “The sole purpose of business is service. The sole purpose of advertising is explaining the service which business renders.”  — Leo Burnett
  65. “The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pre-test your product with consumers, and pre-test your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.” — David Ogilvy
  66. “Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.”  — David Ogilvy
  67. “Yes, I sell people things they don’t need. I can’t, however, sell them something they don’t want. Even with advertising. Even if I were of a mind to.”  — John O’Toole
  68. “Techniques of art, layout, typography, radio and television productions and fine writing are important. Nevertheless, they are secondary to the basic selling proposition around which the ad or commercial is built. It is not the purpose of the ad or commercial to make the reader or listener say ‘My, what a clever ad.’ It is the purpose of advertising to make the reader or listener say, ‘I believe I’ll buy one when I’m shopping tomorrow,’ or ‘I wonder if Joe could get one for me wholesale? The place to start in advertising is the basic selling appeal. An appeal that fulfills some existing need in the prospect’s mind, an appeal that can be readily understood and believed.”  — Morris Hite
  69. “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
  70. “There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”  — David Ogilvy
  71. “There is no such thing as a Mass Mind. The Mass Audience is made up of individuals, and good advertising is written always from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.”  — Fairfax Cone
  72. “There is no such thing as national advertising. All advertising is local and personal. It’s one man or woman reading one newspaper in the kitchen or watching TV in the den.”  — Morris Hite
  73. “For marketers, the mass media are no longer the sole choice. Traditional media retain an important advantage: the ‘rub-off’ credibility that accrues from being part of a broadcast or publication invited into the home. But for many marketers, media advertising is a shotgun. The new technologies provide rifles, which can target prime prospects.”  — Stanley E. Cohen
  74. “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
  75. “Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.”  — Leo Burnett
  76. “The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men — the man he is and the man he wants to be.”  — William Feather
  77. “The business of the advertiser or the seller is not to create fundamentally new desires. That is not necessary and really cannot be done. Man already has certain desires present from birth, which are a part of his fundamental make-up. All that a seller can do is to direct these desires in certain directions, or stimulate them to action, or show by what new ways an old desire may be satisfied.”  — Daniel Starch
  78. “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half”  — John Wanamaker
  79. “The faults of advertising are only those common to all human institutions. If advertising speaks to a thousand in order to influence one, so does the church. And if it encourages people to live beyond their means, so does matrimony. Good times, bad times, there will always be advertising. In good times, people want to advertise; in bad times they have to.”  — Bruce Barton
  80. “Unless a product becomes outmoded, a great campaign will not wear itself out.”  — Rosser Reeves
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