Impress Your Friends
by Chad Rueffert

Every year, come the end of January, two things are on people’s minds:  football and advertising.  The Superbowl not only decides the champion of the National Football League, it has also become the holy grail of the advertising world, and the television ratings for the game have become almost secondary to the attention paid to the advertising.  At the Superbowl, advertising has become a form of entertainment in its own right.

So, while you sit on the couch or around the water cooler and critique the latest advertainments aired on the Superbowl, here are some insightful and pithy quotes about advertising that will definitely impress your friends and co-workers.


“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark.  You know what you’re doing, but nobody else does.” -- Steuart Henderson Britt


“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.” – George Orwell


“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


“The consumer isn’t a moron.  She is your wife.” – David Ogilvy


“I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing.  The first, of course, is ransom notes…” – Philip Dusenberry


“There is one category of advertising which is totally uncontrolled and flagrantly dishonest:  the television commercials for candidates in Presidential elections.” – David Ogilvy


“It is our job to make women unhappy with what they have.” – B. Earl Puckett


“The number of agency people required to shoot a commercial on location is in direct proportion to the mean temperature of the location.” – Shelby Page


“In the ad game, the days are tough, the nights are long and the work is emotionally degrading.  But it’s worth it, because the rewards are shallow, transparent and meaningless.” – Unknown


“Don’t tell my mother I’m in advertising.  She thinks I play piano in a whore house.” – Unknown


“If advertising had a little more respect for the public, the public would have a lot more respect for advertising.” – James Randolph Adams


“The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men – the man he is and the man he wants to be.” – William Feather


“Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside and advertising agency.” – Raymond Chandler


“I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.” – John Wanamaker


“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


“To explain responsibility to advertising men is like trying to convince an eight-year-old that sexual intercourse is more fun than a chocolate ice cream cone.” – Howard Luck Gossage


“I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.” – Steven Wright


“The Soviet Union, which has complained recently about alleged anti-Soviet themes in American advertising, lodged and official protest this week against the Ford Motor Company’s new campaign:  ‘Hey you stinking fat Russian, get off my Ford Escort.” – Dennis Miller


Thank you and credit to the Department of Advertising, University of Texas at Austin for their comprehensive website of advertising quotations, located at