15 Advertising memorable Gem like quotes

by in advertising, Branding, Brands 

Advertising is one industry which is quite full of witty one-liners and these by themselves qualify for unforgettable quotes. But many quotes have been quoted on the quotable industry of advertising and some of them are so memorable and so hard to miss, that we just had to share them with you. So here we select 15 Memorable Gem like quotes on advertising made by the who’s who of the ad world, popular writers, the big brands and the brand makers. Enjoy!

Advertising and Brands

"The only way to advertise is by not focusing on the product."

– Calvin Klein

Damned, you said it Calvin Klein. With the consumers getting more individualistic, it is time to personalize the art of storytelling in advertising. Product and its brand image totally take a back seat – it is the consumer who is the driver in the ad world.


“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

Many copywriters diligently follow the advice of David Oglivy today to make their copies full of cute sounding grammar errors. These grammar mistakes catch the attention of the grammar Nazis while connecting well to the grammar deficient masses – win-win in all.

"Emotion. Passion. Ideas. Simplicity. These are the big things that big business needs from its creative agencies. No one else is going to provide these essential elements for business."

– Kevin Roberts

Delving for the need of creative agencies, this quote by Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi since 1997, aptly surmises that what a creative agency can do for a business, no one else can.

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people."

– Steve Jobs

No one says it quite like Steve Jobs. Besides his entire world splitting success, Steve is also fondly remembered for his power packed inspiring speeches and quotable quotes. The above one on creativity tries to peer into the soul of advertising which is a creative industry at the heart of it. What brings about creativity? Why and how are creative people different than others? Ever thought about it? Hope you do now.

"Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make."

– Bill Bernbach

This is quite true in the ad industry. In whole your career if you make one memorable and remarkable ad, you could be known life time as the |Product name_man/woman|.

"In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope."

– Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Quite simply the above quote by Peter Nivio Zarlenga, author of The Orator shows us how advertising create a simple product into something of an emotional value for the client. By selling a lipstick as a hope, maybe their ad tries to save a marriage from breaking or encourage an ageing woman to feel sexy again; telling a young girl that she could hope to fulfil all her dreams etc. Their ad could talk to any female in need of confidence who could hope to get it through their product.

"The very 1st Law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague."

– Bill Cosby

While we cannot really say whether Bill Cosby meant it in an approving manner or not but nonetheless we cannot fully agree with it either. The delightfully vague in advertising is usually and ideally only to accentuate the concrete promises. It is like putting make up on a pretty girl to make her look even prettier to the masses.

"You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements"

– Norman Douglas

What a power packed line on advertisements! Norman Douglas, the British writer probably meant the political advertisements, we think. Since advertisements do have the power to change the minds of people, it would not be wrong to consider that the ideals portrayed by advertisement could show the ideals of the nation since its people get affected by the advertisements.

"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."

– Thomas Jefferson

I cannot say what motivated Thomas Jefferson to make this strong statement. It seems to favour advertising, my bread and butter industry, hence I take it in a true and fun manner. Hope he wasn’t joking though.

"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does."

– Stuart Henderson Britt

The above quote aptly points out the need for advertising by businesses. Now how can you keep winking in the dark to your customer?

"Winning in advertising is like winning in a horse race where you fall off your horse nine times and get back on ten."

– Dean Rieck

Advertising involves risk and some times, things may back fire, even pretty badly. In the happy go lucky industry of advertising, there really shouldn’t be any time spent in moaning and crying. Dust yourself off every time your ad idea is rejected or does not work. Restart and make a fresh beginning after learning from the past to be eventually successful.

"The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible."

– David Ogilvy

A nice piece of gyaan by the father of advertising. Funny sells always and makes for the best ideas. Let’s make a pact to make our thoughts as funny as possible.

"Creative without strategy is called ‘art’. Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’."

– Jef Richards

This is one quote I totally believe in. Advertisers are essentially artists who have that rare gift of creating art with a strategy. And that’s what the ad industry is all about.

"Sanely applied advertising could remake the world."

– Stuart Chase

Imagine if we could make amazing ad campaigns on moral values, lessening cruelty and selfishness etc in the world. This kind of advertising can totally change the world. Unfortunately no one has that kind of money for world improvement still the fact remains that sanely applied advertising could remake the world.

"The more facts you tell, the more you sell. An advertisement's chance for success invariably increases as the number of pertinent merchandise facts included in the ad increases."

– Dr. Charles Edwards

True that. The more you talk about your product in scientific and quantitative terms (read statistics) the more the consumer can get an understanding and acceptability for your product. So make sure to include them liberally in your next ad.

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Aparna Ghildiyal
After working as a neuroscience researcher, Aparna renewed her love for writing by working as a content writer. Later she joined The Art of Living International Bangalore Ashram as a resident - volunteer. Her education qualification includes a Master of Science degree from BHU, one of the top central universities of India.

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