Also See

Quotebank: Creativity

Find the quote you need for a presentation or a speech from the list below. You can always suggest new quotes or additional subjects for quotes by emailing

Good, engaging creative has one core feature: stickiness. Stickiness is the quality of something which catches our eye and makes us stop; something original, intriguing and enjoyable; something that pushes the attention button in our brain and makes us investigate further.

– Jimmy Maymann, chairman, GoViral (view source article)

It's interesting that divergent thinkers tend to wander around their own minds looking for links whereas convergent thinkers look for the one correct answer.

– Tracey Follows, planning partner, VCCP, from The Warc Blog

Having an idea in the first place is just the start; bringing that idea to life in a way that inspires others to help it grow can mean the difference between an abandoned sketch on a notepad and a successful finished product in a customer's hands.

– Lucy Blakemore, Gravity Planning & Research, UK (view source article)

People who best learn how to use the tools of creativity will be at the leading edge of our industry. But you also need to learn to accelerate. The tools don't stay the same for a decade.

– Andy Berndt, md, Google Creative Lab (view source article)

Ideas and creativity still matter a lot, but they need to be connected to technology, consumer insights, and analytics.

– Christopher Vollmer, vp/partner, Booz & Co (view source article)

If you don't create change, change will create you.

– Jason McDonell, vp/general manager for customer strategy, Frito-Lay (view source article)

All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and then works its way out. Imagination is more important than knowledge.

– Albert Einstein, scientist

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.

– John F Kennedy, US president

Our business once revolved entirely around men with pencils, men with an inbred selling instinct, a nose for ideas, clarity of thought, and a great gift for human expression. These men put on the map some of the greatest brands in this country. Decades before motivation research was even heard of, these men were really practicing it, singlehanded.

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

Companies that recognize the need to be creative about their businesses are going to pursue this creative thinking with us or without us. It's our collective responsibility, our collective future to make sure they choose to do it with us.

– Bob Schmetterer, Havas and Euro RSCG Worldwide (view source article)

At the end of the day, we are in the business of taking basically parity products and by virtue of understanding the audience, by virtue of human insight and intuition, by virtue of creating new ways to communicate both rationally and emotionally, we create brand distinctions. That is what creativity in advertising is all about.

– Allen Rosenshine, BBDO chairman emeritus (view source article)

Fear and creativity don't mix well.

– John E Pepper, chairman, P&G (view source article)

Account planning was invented to help the agency get the advertising right more often, more consistently, as it became apparent that advertising was less of a science and more of an art. ('Art' was seen as bad for business, since the agency could not sell an effective campaign with any degree of proof, and the client could not buy one with any degree of certainty.)

– Simon Clemmow, partner, Clemmow Hornby Inge (view source article)

Genius is simply patience carried to the extreme.

– Santiago Ramon y Cajal, neuroscientist

Don't let quality control get in the way of quality creation.

– Nick Southgate, planning partner, Grey London (view source article)

Creative excellence should flow from creative development research. The creatives should be key clients of such research and should welcome the insight that it can provide. Rarely does this happen.

– Chris Stride, ceo, Totman Stride Planning & Research (view source article)

I take the attitude that advertising was just invented yesterday. By that I mean that advertising should not be regarded as a static, formalized business but a fluid and dynamic force in modern communications. I believe there is an unlimited opportunity in the business for any creative person who approaches it from that point of view.

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

Don't focus on the mink [coat], but what's in it.

– Jane Trahey, US copywriter

As an industry, we too rarely speak about 'effectiveness'. We tend to speak about 'creativity', as if these two phenomena can be separated. That's ridiculous.

– Brendan Ryan, ceo, FCB (view source article)

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

– John Cleese, UK comedian, Python

For people who live in the imagination, there is no lack of subjects. To seek for the exact moment at which inspiration comes is false. Imagination floods us with suggestions all the time, from all directions.

– Federico Fellini, Italian film director

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

– André Gide, French novelist

Every creative act is a sudden cessation of stupidity.

– Edwin Land, US inventor

Creativity is never enough.

– Adrienne Landau, US fashion designer

Organisations with decision-making speed and imagination will thrive as nobody can claim to have a monopoly over creativity.

– Narayana Murthy, ceo, Infosys

The majority of creative acts are unplanned, and each begins with awareness of an unexpected opportunity.

– Alan G Robinson, US author

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

– Gail Sheehy, US journalist

Consumers know precisely what's wrong with advertising. Be it TV or print or whatever, they know that advertising is never creative enough … never as witty, inspiring, sophisticated, entertaining and downright likeable as they would like it to be.

– Phil Dusenberry, former chairman, BBDO (view source article)

A minute’s success pays the failure of years.

– Robert Browning, British poet

True creativity often starts where language ends.

– Arthur Koestler, British writer

Excellence is not an act, but a habit.

– Marva Collins, US educationalist

True creativity often starts where language ends.

– Arthur Koestler, British writer

Through the picture, I see reality; through words, I understand it.

– Peter Kindersley, British publisher

The work, the work, the work. This is what the business is all about. This is the fun, the glory, the pleasure. It's the only true measure of an agency. In the absence of great work, nothing else matters.

– Phil Dusenberry, former chairman, BBDO (view source article)

Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.

– Marshall McLuhan, Canadian sociologist and author

The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.

– Daniel Goleman, psychologist

Without ... the creative imagination rushing in where bureaucratic angels fear to tread - without this, life is a mockery and a disgrace.

– EF Schumacher, economist and author of "Small is Beautiful"

Creativity needs a bit of untidiness. Make everything too neat and there is no room for experiment.

– Charles Handy, marketing philosopher

We, as advertising men and women, are the great energizers of this marketplace. And the force that makes this possible is easily labelled but hard to define. Very simply stated, it is Creative Fire.

– Paul Harper, chairman, 4A's (view source article)

What is more important in our business than bringing together into creative harmony the wide range of talents, temperaments and skills that we have to deal with?

– Paul Harper, chairman, 4A's (view source article)

An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them.

– Andy Warhol, US artist

Across a client's organisation and its agencies, there are many people who can solve problems. Only a tiny number of them are called creatives. More and more, both clients and agencies are looking to harness these alternative sources of creativity and put them to work in a creative briefing that is collaborative and collective, rather than linear and sequential.

– Nick Southgate, planning partner, Grey London (view source article)

Brands are built around stories.

– Bill Dauphinais, vice president, PricewaterhouseCoopers

A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable.

– Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, US advertising pioneer

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

– David Ogilvy, advertising pioneer and founder of Ogilvy Group

Advertising in the final analysis should be news. If it is not news it is worthless.

– Adolph S Ochs, US newspaper publisher

Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.

– Bill Bernbach, advertising pioneer and founder of DDB

Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.

– David Ogilvy, advertising pioneer and founder of Ogilvy Group

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

– Erich Fromm, Psychologist

I hail comparative advertising as our industry's own brand of consumerism when properly executed. It makes the consumer more conscious of his responsibility to himself to compare before he buys. Moreover, it serves as an incentive for advertisers to produce better products. And isn't that the greatest reward that advertising can offer the consumer?

– Herbert Zeltner, US media consultant and author (view source article)

I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.

– Steven Wright, US comedian

I think that I shall never see an ad so lovely as a tree. But if a tree you have to sell, it takes an ad to do that well.

– Jeff I Richards, US academic

Ice cubes likely sell more alcohol for the distilling industry than attractive models in cheesecake poses. The inconspicuous ice cubes often hide the invisible sell - invisible, that is, to the conscious mind.

– Wilson Bryan Key, author and expert on subliminal advertising

Ideally, advertising aims at the goal of a programmed harmony among all human impulses and aspirations and endeavours. Using handicraft methods, it stretches out toward the ultimate electronic goal of a collective consciousness.

– Marshall McLuhan, Canadian sociologist and author

It has taken more than a hundred scientists two years to find out how to make the product in question; I have been given thirty days to create its personality and plan its launching. If I do my job well, I shall contribute as much as the hundred scientists to the success of this product.

– David Ogilvy, advertising pioneer and founder of Ogilvy Group

Let's say you have $1,000,000 tied up in your little company and suddenly your advertising isn't working and sales are going down. And everything depends on it. Your future depends on it, your family's future depends on it, other people's families depend on it. Now, what do you want from me? Fine writing? Or do you want to see the goddamned sales curve stop moving down and start moving up?

– Rosser Reeves, advertising industry pioneer

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, advertising pioneer and founder of Ogilvy Group

No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter . . . can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?

– Rosser Reeves, advertising industry pioneer

The ultimate aim of creativity is to move markets. And, if we get it right, to move them more cost-effectively because we have been more creative.

– Roderick White, former editor of Admap (view source article)

Even the sexiest brand will see its creative streak wither and die if its staff are constantly told to follow 'the corporate way of doing things.

– Richard Scase, UK academic (view source article)

Not a single, substantial, commercially-successful product had come from an adequately-finded team. They'd always come from the scrounging, scrapping, underfunded teams.

– Ken Olsen, Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation

Doing the things we do now and doing them better, cheaper and faster will take us far. But it will not take us far enough. We're going to have to do new things in new ways.

– Peter Bonfield, former ceo, BT

The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story.

– Malcolm Gladwell, US author

The easiest way to predict the future is to invent it.

– Anon

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them

– George Bernard Shaw, Irish author

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.

– Linus Pauling, US educator and activist

The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity.

– Margaret J. Wheatley, management writer

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, advertising pioneer and founder of Ogilvy Group

Today's smartest advertising style is tomorrow's corn.

– Bill Bernbach, advertising pioneer and founder of DDB

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

– Buckminster Fuller, US architect and futurist