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Quotebank: Advertising

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Tracking account planning is rather like counting a mixed batch of tropical fish. You think you see patterns, but they’ve all changed by the time you’ve finished counting.

– Stephen King, former JWT executive

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused

– Samuel Johnson, UK polymath, The Idler, 1759

It is not necessary to know how advertising works to be good at advertising.

– Winston Fletcher, UK advertising expert (view source article)

Advertising, as a single entity capable of creating vast changes in our social structure, simply does not exist. Its impact is too diffuse, too omnidirectional.

– William Hesse, president, 4A's (view source article)

The plain truth is that the only consistent theme in advertising is the absence of any consistent theme.

– William Hesse, president, 4A's (view source article)

Advertising is simply a use of the right of the manufacture to present his case and to employ the same arts of appeal and persuasion accorded to the politician, the preacher, the lawyer, and to every other individual who has a special interest in something, whether a creed or a commodity.

– Raymond Rubicam, advertising pioneer and co-founder of Young & Rubicam (view source article)

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, former president, 4A's

I believe consumers will respond with their pocketbooks to advertisements that reflect ethical considerations. Companies that follow high ethical principles in their advertisements will do well by doing good.

– Wallace S Snyder, ceo, American Advertising Federation (view source article)

It is clear that retailers need to move beyond just 'advertising', and a consumer-centric measure of engagement-based, integrated media and cross-media consumption can facilitate that shift.

– Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc (view source article)

An old adage has it that a picture is worth a thousand words. But research across many countries has taught us that the opposite is also true. One word can be worth a thousand pictures. The trick in advertising global brands is in finding the few pictures from those thousand that consumers everywhere can agree mean the same thing.

– Charles Young, founder and ceo, Ameritest (view source article)

Spokescharacters can give meaning to a brand by symbolizing its character, and they can lend emotional appeal to the brand by personifying the product.

– Kartik Pashupati, US academic (view source article)

It is futile to assume that an initially ineffective advertisement still needs to wear in; wear-in either happens quickly or it does not happen at all.

– Gerard J. Tellis, US academic (view source article)

There is more emotion in real life than advertising knows, but brand communications have to become more emotive to remain effective.

– David Bonney, account planner, DDB UK (view source article)

Advertising is fundamental to the accessibility, affordability and dynamism of the internet, helping to pay for much of the content and services we all enjoy and use for free.

– Nick Stringer, head of regulatory affairs, IAB UK (view source article)

Advertising tends to be most effective in jogging finally into action those people who are well-enough disposed towards a product, but have not yet got around to buying it.

– Stephen King, former JWT executive (view source article)

The size of total expenditure on advertising is obviously a question of great interest to people in the advertising business. It is, apparently, also a question of considerable interest and concern to politicians, economists and other social commentators.

– Dr John Treasure, Director of Marketing and Research, JWT (view source article)

The advertising must fit the product, since users are in a position to compare what they think it says about the product with their current or recent own experience. If the advertising does not fit, for example by over-claiming, dissatisfaction may result.

– Dr Timothy Joyce, British Market Research Bureau (view source article)

Advertising is in essence simply a means of communication through mass media which is available to anyone who can pay for it. It is, in this sense, rather like electricity, which can be used to work a refrigerator or a dentist's drill.

– John Treasure, former chairman, JWT (view source article)

Why don't we read ads any more? Why don't we really even look at the 'speeds and feeds' on a product's website? Because we don't want to think about things we buy.

– Brian Millar, creative director, Brand Tacticians (view source article)

Only about half of all commercials actually work.

– Jerry Thomas, founder, Decision Analyst (view source article)

For advertisers, what's important about emotion is the motion in emotion.

– Charles Young, founder and ceo, Ameritest (view source article)

I believe we’re arriving at a tipping point where advertisers are beginning to feel confident about using emotion rather than product message as the lynchpin for their integrated communications.

– Orlando Wood, innovation director, Brainjuicer, from The Warc Blog

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an Advertisement.

– Dr Samuel Johnson, UK polymath

We, as a company, rely too much on [the 30-second spot]. That doesn't have to be. Our agencies need to help us. To lead us out of this rut.

– Kathy O'Brien, vp/personal care, Unilever (view source article)

Advertising is in a way the most fragile and difficult part to manage of the entire marketing mix: This is because despite all the science available, it is still difficult to establish a direct link between sales and most forms of national advertising. But what we do know is that advertising has to have everything going for it to pay off.

– Paul C Harper, chairman, Needham Harper Worldwide (view source article)

One of the things I have learned over 26 years in the business is that the most productive place to focus new business efforts on is current clients. Think about it – you have the relationship, you have inside knowledge of the company, the people and often, the brand, so it's a much less diverting exercise. Simply put, the odds of getting a higher share with current clients is much better than getting in the front door with new ones.

– Shelly Lazarus, chairman/ceo, Ogilvy & Mather (view source article)

Advertising, to be successful, must be truthful or it ceases to be read or believed, and at that point it ceases to be advertising.

– William A Marsteller, chairman, Marsteller Inc (view source article)

I do not apologize for advertising. I think it is as vital to the preservation of freedom in my country as the free exercise of publishing a newspaper or the free exercise of building a church or the free exercise of the right of trial by jury.

– Tom Dillon, president, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (view source article)

Our job – if I can see straight and hear clearly and understand – is to make advertising and run advertising that is seen and read and heard – and remembered – for its reasonable and compelling truth.

– Fairfax Cone, Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago (view source article)

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, founder, Leo Burnett Company (view source article)

I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.

– Leo Burnett, founder, Leo Burnett Company (view source article)

Somebody finally has to get out an ad, often after hours. Somebody has to stare at a blank piece of paper. Probably nothing was ever more bleak. This is probably the very height of lonesomeness. He is one person and he is alone – all by himself – alone. Out of the recesses of his mind must come words which interest, words which persuade, words which inspire, words which sell. Magic words.

– Leo Burnett, founder, Leo Burnett Company (view source article)

For traditional agencies, it's hard to be patient enough to do product development. Not only does it take a lot of money to build a business, but you work on a different timeline and need a different level of commitment.

– John Winsor, Victors & Spoils (view source article)

Advertising [is] one of the most fundamental ways to sort out information. And that’s the gift of advertising - to connect with people in a human way - to make the kind of emotional connections that are at the core of story telling.

– Eric Schmidt, ceo, Google (view source article)

For all the data, the articles, the conference papers about 'silver surfers' and all the other catchy names, the world of the older consumer remains remote from the daily experience of most advertising and marketing people.

– Paul Feldwick, UK marketing consultant, from The Warc Blog

There often appears to be an eagerness to find a point of view which will 'defend' advertising by 'bashing' other forms of marketing, as if, by dismissing them, they will 'go away'.

– Andrew Chailler, md, Billetts, from The Warc Blog

People don't buy colas the same way they buy mobile phones; nor wireless services or airline tickets the way they buy bottled water. But still many agencies, research houses and marketers seem willing to trade product and category specificity for the comfort of cross-category, generalised trend observations.

– Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc (view source article)

You don't need a big research budget, a big marketing budget. Understanding the social world of people and how a product works within it is much more important than a big advertising budget.

– Mark Earls, Herd Consulting (view source article)

Advertising still is about the art and science of persuasion… and, I would add now, participation.

– Randall Rothenberg, president/ceo, IAB (view source article)

Adolescents distrust the media and advertising. The advertising that is able to bond with them is the advertising that subjects itself to self-criticism, which moves away from the aspirational mainstream and shows its increasing capacity to embody what is real and sincere day by day.

– Rosalba Olivella and Carlos Hernandez, Feedback Profile (view source article)

As an industry, we've been seduced by the aesthetic principle. We have 'rules' passed down from generation to generation that if we want to change people's behavior, we need to change how people think first. And we do that by crafting, polishing and projecting an image for a brand. It's like we've only ever noticed peacocks.

– Gareth Kay, director of digital strategy, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (view source article)

The future is a world in which consumers receive only messages that interest them - and only when they are receptive to those messages.

– Bob Liodice, president/ceo, ANA (view source article)

The clamour for change and innovation can easily drown out the quieter, less sexy voice of continuity – especially as change and continuity tend to be regarded as polar opposites.

– Chris Baker, partner, Bacon Strategy & Research (view source article)

Ads work only if context allows.

– J Walker Smith and David Bersoff, The Futures Company (view source article)

I think a lot of campaigns are designed to be very short-term, buzz oriented, which is the equivalent of doing a stunt in Times Square. It may get you on the evening news that night, but does it do anything long term for the brand?

– Ed Keller, president, Word of Mouth Marketing Association (view source article)

So what’s our short answer to why some advertising imagery lasts a long time? It goes something like this – the unconscious mind says: "Look at this!" And the conscious mind responds: "Wow, that was something!"

– Charles Young, Ameritest (view source article)

If someone says, "Don't think of an elephant," the first thing you do is think of one. If you tell a customer, "We're not like those other banks," the first thing they do is wonder if you are.

– Jiao Zhang, Attune (view source article)

The world has changed, apparently what ad agencies can offer has changed, but what has not changed is the way agencies think.

– Waqar Riaz, strategist, Rapp London, from The Warc Blog

Now our industry is poised at an important inflection point: As much as we may hate to admit it, we've developed as a direct-response industry. And, in truth, we've been very successful. But we've not been as successful at building brands.

– Randall Rothenberg, president/ceo, IAB (view source article)

Consumers do not view communications in isolation. They bring with them all their past brand experiences and associations.

– Josh Hunt, associate director, The Futures Company (view source article)

Planners shouldn’t decide whether the work is right or wrong; creatives hate absolutism and truth. There is a perception that we have to separate dead campaigns from live ones. Guide, don't judge. Planning is not an end, it's a means to an end.

– Jeff Goodby, partner, GSP (view source article)

Planners used to think nine to 12 months out. Now they have to learn to think 9 to 12 minutes out.

– Rick Murray, president, Edelman Digital (view source article)

The great benefit of account planning, both to agency and to client, is that it eliminates dud ideas early on, and it identifies avoidable gaffes and clangers buried within good ideas, so they can be changed before the creative work is presented to the client.

– Winston Fletcher, UK advertising expert (view source article)

I'm not suggesting that traditional advertising is dead - but, from our point of view, the constant pressure to drive return on investment means that this kind of advertising - in its classic sense - is not getting us there.

– Clive Sirkin, general manager/global integrated marketing, Kimberly-Clark (view source article)

While nobody would stipulate that you can only create a good song by writing the lyrics first, the advertising approval process now requires us to judge a proposition in advance of executing it. This is absurd.

– Rory Sutherland, vice chairman, OgilvyOne London (view source article)

I still believe that the core of our industry remains the same, as it was decades ago: ideas.

– Waqar Riaz, strategist, Rapp London, from The Warc Blog

If the ad business has a besetting sin, it is an obsession with novelty and a corresponding contempt for the past.

– Paul Feldwick, UK marketing consultant (view source article)

It's easy to mock the old days, when copywriters were all poets manque or had half-finished novels in their desk drawers; but they were a great deal more effective than most of today's writer/art director teams who take it in turns to be the writer.

– Jeremy Bullmore, author and former JWT executive (view source article)

If your agency pursues creative award targets, ensure that it also has effectiveness award targets.

– Peter Field, UK marketing consultant, from The Warc Blog

An average effective campaign in the 1990s used three media channels. Effective campaigns in 2010 used seven channels.

– Tim Broadbent, Ogilvy & Mather (view source article)

Agencies will need to move away from traditional planning and buying skill-sets to find new talent with strong data and analytic capabilities.

– Norm Johnson, global digital leader, Mindshare Worldwide (view source article)

Big clients want strategic advice from people who are fluent in understanding how ideas and cultures can collide in the most distinctive and beautiful ways. Knowing the difference between how Muslim, Confucian and Latin cultures respond to ideas is the new currency of planning, sitting alongside all the technical fluency that the modern world demands.

– Guy Murphy, worldwide planning director, JWT London (view source article)

The most effective advertising embodies the understanding that it needs to sell to the ‘whole consumer’ – head, heart… and hands.

– Charles Young, founder/CEO, Ameritest (view source article)

In just a few years, we have gone from neon advertising to LED video billboards. But consumers are about to see a huge step change, with 3D video ads that react to their mood and context.

– Daniel Steinbichler, CEO, 3M|GTG (view source article)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that integrated campaigns are more effective.

– Kate Cox, head of integration and orchestration, MPG Media Contacts (view source article)

The key to successful integrated channel planning is not in innovative use of media and using multiple channels, but in understanding consumers, brand and category.

– Guy Hearn, director of communications insights, Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific (view source article)