Most of us enjoy reading great quotes. I know I certainly do – and our agency staff also loves posting relevant ones across our social media platforms.
Over the years, I have come across many that reflect on the advertising business. Most of these have become favourites and are mainly from two ad industry giants, David Ogilvy and Leo Burnett. Their particular takes on the ad agency business through their quotes are still relevant today – even though they were quoted, in some cases, well over five decades ago.
So here, in no particular order, are our firm’s top ten favourite advertising quotes. Enjoy!
Of special note, the last Ogilvy quote listed is actually part of our firm’s décor – as we have it loud and proud on one of our office walls (see photo below).
1. “We want consumers to say, ‘That’s a hell of a product’ instead of, ‘That’s a hell of an ad.’” – Leo Burnett
2. “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” – David Ogilvy
3. “I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.” – Steven Wright
4. “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” – David Ogilvy
5. “Don’t tell me how good you make it; tell me how good it makes me when I use it.” – Leo Burnett
6. “If you are writing about baloney, don’t try and make it Cornish hen, because that’s the worst kind of baloney there is. Just make it darn good baloney.” – Leo Burnett
7. “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.” – David Ogilvy
8. “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.” – David Ogilvy
9. “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
10. “Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.” – David Ogilvy