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Advertising / Branding Quotes

 Quotations in Categories – spotlightideas.co.uk

Brands  - general

  • “A product is something made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by the customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless” - Stephen King (formerly of JWT ad agency)
  •  ”A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”. Jeff Bezos
  • “Brand value is very much like an onion. It has layers and a core. The core is the user who will stick with you until the very end.” Edwin Artzt
  • “Your brand is created out of customer contact and the experience your customers have of you.” - Stelios Haji-Ioannou
  • “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures” – Michael Eisner, Walt Disney
  • “A Brand becomes stronger when you narrow the focus” – Al Ries & Laura Ries
  • “Your brand’s power lies in dominance. It is better to have 50% of one market, instead of 10% of five markets”. – Al Ries
  • “We are no doubt in the Great Age of the Brand”. – Tom Peters

Brand personality

  • “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
  •  “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

Brand Image

  • “Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image”. David Ogilvy
  •  “Big ideas are so hard to recognize, so fragile, so easy to kill. Don’t forget that, all of you who don’t have them”. John Elliott
  •  “I have learned to respect ideas, wherever they come from. Often they come from clients. Account executives often have big creative ideas, regardless of what some writers think”. Leo Burnett
  •  “If you have a good selling idea, your secretary can write your ad for you.” Morris Hite

Brand Equity

  • “Long-term brand equity and growth depends on our ability to successfully integrate and implement all elements of a comprehensive marketing program”. – Timm F Crull,  Nestle
  • “Brand equity is the sum of all the hearts and minds of every single person that comes into contact with your company”. – Christopher Betzter

Capturing the essence of a business / brand

  • “Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret . . . to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink”. Leo Burnett

Advertising as a sales tool

  • “The simplest definition of advertising, and one that will probably meet the test of critical examination, is that advertising is selling in print.” Daniel Starch
  •  “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
  • “Advertising is, actually, a simple phenomenon in terms of economics. It is merely a substitute for a personal sales force – an extension, if you will, of the merchant who cries aloud his wares.” Rosser Reeves

Advertising is about selling not art

  • “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

Planning: Strategy

  • “Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.’” Jef I. Richards
  • “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
  • “Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills”. Al Ries

Planning: Research / Test

  • “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.” David Ogilvy
  • “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” David Ogilvy

The importance of ads being noticed

  • “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
  • “If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.” William Bernbach

Being credible

  • “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 nothing.” Leo Burnett

Be interesting

  • “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


  • “Advertising doesn’t create a product advantage. It can only convey it.” William Bernbach

Advertising is about informing

  • “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.” David Ogilvy


  • “Today’s smartest advertising style is tomorrow’s corn.” William Bernbach
  • “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

Substance over style

  • “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” David Ogilvy
  • “What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.” David Ogilvy

Importance of facts

  • “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 advertisement increases.” Dr Charles Edwards

Creativity in advertising

  • “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” Leo Burnett
  • “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
  • “Creative ideas flourish best in a shop which preserves some spirit of fun. Nobody is in business for fun, but that does not mean there cannot be fun in business.” Leo Burnett
  • “Creativity is an advertising agency’s most valuable asset, because it is the rarest.” Jeff I. Richards
  • “Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.” William Bernbach

Ideas / ‘big idea’

  • “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.” David Ogilvy

Targetting your audience

  • “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
  • “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

Focusing on / knowing the audience

  • “If you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the ad writing business at all.” Leo Burnett
  • The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.” David Ogilvy

Word of mouth

  • “Word of mouth is the best medium of all.” William Bernbach

Focusing on / knowing your product

  • “We think we will never know as much about a product as a client. After all, he sleeps and breathes his product. He’s built it. He’s lived with it most of his life. We couldn’t possible know as much about it as he does. By the same token, we firmly believe that he can’t know as much about advertising. Because we live and breathe that all day long.” William Bernbach
  • “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
  • “Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.” David Ogilvy
  • “In writing advertising it must always be kept in mind that the customer often knows more about the goods than the advertising writers because they have had experience in buying them, and any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled.” John Wanamker

How committees can ruin a campaign

  • “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.” David Ogilvy

Account Handlers / Executives

  • “If I had to sum it all up, I’d say there are three breeds of account executives: the play-it-safe-and-by-the-rule-book transmitting agent; the neutralist, who’s never quite sure from one day to the next of his role in the agency-client relationship; and the truly creative account man, who may never write a line of copy in his life, but who, in his own wy, is every bit as creative as the finest copywriter in the business.” Emil Mogul
  • “The ultimate test of a finished account executive is his ability to write a sound marketing plan.” Morris Hite


  • “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company ofdwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” David Ogilvy


  • “Most agencies run scared, most of the time. . . . Frightened people are powerless to produce good advertising. . . . If I were a client, I would do everything in my power to emancipate my agencies from fear, even to the extent of giving them long-term contracts.” David Ogilvy
  • “I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.” David Ogilvy
  • “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.” David Ogilvy
  • “I have learned that trying to guess what the boss or the client wants is the most debilitating of all influences in the creation of good advertising.” Leo Burnett
  • “I have learned that you can’t have good advertising without a good client, that you can’t keep a good client without good advertising, and no client will ever buy better advertising than he understands or has an appetite for.” Leo Burnett


  • Advertising is “the lubricant for the free-enterprise system.” Leo-Arthur Kelmenson
  • “Advertising is the ‘wonder’ in Wonder Bread.” Jef I. Richards
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One Comment

  1. “Branding is being perceived as the only solution to your prospect’s problem.”
    From “The Revenge of Brand X” – http://www.revengeofbrandx.com and at Amazon.com


  1. Internet Reputation Management - Removes Negative Online Publicity | Internet Marketing - [...] Advertising / Branding Quotes [...]

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