Leaders grasp nettles.
– David Ogilvy
Does advertising corrupt editors? Yes it does, but fewer editors than you may suppose… the vast majority of editors are incorruptible.
Remove advertising, disable a person or firm from proclaiming its wares and their merits, and the whole of society and of the economy is transformed. The enemies of advertising are the enemies of freedom.
The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.
I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.
Many manufacturers secretly question whether advertising really sells their product, but are vaguely afraid that their competitors might steal a march on them if they stopped.
A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.
What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.
I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.
There are very few men of genius in advertising agencies. But we need all we can find. Almost without exception they are disagreeable. Don’t destroy them. They lay golden eggs.
Advertising reflects the mores of society, but it does not influence them.
Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.
Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.
It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.
Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.
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.
Political advertising ought to be stopped. It’s the only really dishonest kind of advertising that’s left. It’s totally dishonest.
Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
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.
What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.
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.
The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.
The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.
Many people – and I think I am one of them – are more productive when they’ve had a little to drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I’m far better able to write.
The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
Much of the messy advertising you see on television today is the product of committees. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them.
It strikes me as bad manners for a magazine to accept one of my advertisements and then attack it editorially – like inviting a man to dinner then spitting in his eye.
The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.