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Sermon quotes on Advertising

Fred Allen

An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.

Douglas Atkin

Brands are the new religion.

The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers

Dean Acheson

Time spent in the advertising business seems to create a permanent deformity like the Chinese habit of foot-binding.

Henry Ward Beecher

Advertisements in a newspaper are more full of knowledge in respect to what is going on in a community than the editorial columns are.

Brené Brown

It’s in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes. This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced and photoshopped world very dangerous.

Brené Brown

 Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth.”

The Gifts of Imperfection

G.K. Chesterton

It is really not so repulsive to see the poor asking for money as to see the rich asking for more money. And advertisement is the rich asking for more money.

The New Jerusalem

Don DeLillo

“And I knew with total certainty that a protection factor of fifteen was the highest level of sunblock scientifically possible. Now they were selling me a thirty.”

Underworld

Norman Douglas

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

Zelda Fitzgerald

We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promise of American advertising. I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion.

Thomas Jefferson

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

Samuel Johnson

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

The Idler, January 20, 1759

Jean Kilbourne

We are surrounded by hundreds, thousands of messages every day that link our deepest emotions to products that objectify people and trivialize our most heartfelt moments and relationships. Every emotion is used to sell us something…It becomes difficult to imagine a way of relating that isn’t objectifying and exploitive.

“Jesus Is a Brand of Jeans,” New Internationalist, September 2006.

Philip Kotler

The best advertising is done by satisfied customers.

Stephen Leacock

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

Garden of Folly

Stephen Leacock

Advertising – A judicious mixture of flattery and threats.

The London Times 1886

The incessant witless repetition of advertisers’ moron-fodder has become so much a part of life that, if we are not careful, we forget to be insulted by it.

Marshall McLuhan

Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.

Advertising Age 3

Adolph S. Ochs

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

David Ogilvy

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.

Confessions of an Advertising Man

David Ogilvy

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Simone Puorto

In this post-truth world, any marketing BS seems tolerable.

George Santayana

Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.

Dorothy L. Sayers

“Of course, there is some truth in advertising. There’s yeast in bread, but you can’t make bread with yeast alone. Truth in advertising,” announced Lord Peter sententiously, “is like leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal. It provides a suitable quantity of gas, with which to blow out a mass of crude misrepresentation into a form that the public can swallow.”

Mark Twain

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

Jean Vanier

The word love has been so abused by publicity and advertisements that we no longer know really what it means.

Eruption to Hope

Gene Edward Veith Jr.

Original Sin has great marketing potential.

Reading Between the Lines

David Foster Wallace

“It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.”

Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace

…You are excused from doing the work of constructing the fantasy. The ads do it for you. The ads, therefore, don’t flatter your adult agency, or even ignore it—they supplant it.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Joseph Wood Crutch

The advertiser is the over rewarded court jester and court pander at the democratic court.

Benjamin Barber

Salt was salt was salt, what was the point of having two or three salt companies?”

Consumed (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2007), 175.

Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government with is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…

Noam Chomsky

It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.

Don Draper (Jon Hamm)

Don Draper: This is the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal. We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want. How do you make your cigarettes? 

Lee Garner, Jr.: I don’t know. 

Lee Garner, Sr.: Shame on you. We breed insect repellent tobacco seeds, plant them in the North Carolina sunshine, grow it, cut it, cure it, toast it … 

Don Draper: There you go. There you go. [Writes on chalkboard and underlines: ‘IT’S TOASTED.’] Lee Garner, Jr.: But everybody’s else’s tobacco is toasted. 

Don Draper: No. Everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike’s … is toasted. 

Roger: Well, gentlemen, I don’t think I have to tell you what you just witnessed here. 

Lee Garner, Jr.: I think you do. 

Don Draper: Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK. 

Lee Garner, Sr.: It’s toasted. [Smiles] 

Lee Garner, Sr.: I get it. 

Mad Men (AMC, Lionsgate Television), Season 1, Episode 1 (July, 2007))

Benjamin Barber

Salt was salt was salt, what was the point of having two or three salt companies?”

Consumed (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2007), 175.

Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government with is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…

Malcolm Muggeridge

History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time. It is stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that.

Neil Postman

Television screens saturated with commercials promote the utopian and childish idea that all problems have fast, simple, and technological solutions. You must banish from your mind the naive but commonplace notion that commercials are about products. They are about products in the same sense that the story of Jonah is about the anatomy of whales.

John Mark Comer

Advertising is literally an attempt to monetize our restlessness.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, The Crown Publishing Group, 2019.

Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government with is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…

Neil Postman

The distance between rationality and advertising is now so wide that it is difficult to remember that there once existed a connection between them.”

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Neil Postman

What the advertiser needs to know is not what is right about the product but what is wrong about the buyer. And so, the balance of business expenditures shifts from product research to market research. The television commercial has oriented business away from making products of value and toward making consumers feel valuable, which means that the business of business has now become pseudo-therapy. The consumer is a patient assured by psycho-dramas.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) & The Man in Black (Carey Ewles)

Princess Buttercup: “You mock my pain. 

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

The Princess Bride, 1987.

Will Rogers

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.

Mark Twain 

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. 

Wall Street Banker

We must shift America from a needs to a desires culture…. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

Quoted by Jeremy Lent in The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning (New York: Prometheus Books, 2017), p.380.

Tim Wu

When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

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