Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

10 Inspiring Quotes about Marketing from Advertising Legends

With hundreds of ads bombarding consumers every single day, the idea of creating something eye-catching and original can be really daunting. If you want your brand to get noticed in today’s media saturated world, look no further than the original Mad Men and advertising legends.

Advertising has made leaps and bounds since some of these legends made their first ads, but their advice still rings true. In fact, one might even venture to say that these pearls of wisdom are more valuable now than ever. More and more nonsensical ads are released every day purely for shock value. I’d say it’s time we go back to the basics.

Be Bold 

It’s important no matter what the situation to be bold enough to take risks, even if it means you were wrong or didn’t make the right decision. Lee Chow said it best – encouraging people to not shy away from a challenge or back down from trying something out of fear. 

Engage the Emotions 

Your customers are not going to be inspired to work with you unless you speak their language and try and resonate on an emotional level. Advertising ace Mary Wells Lawrence believes it’s best to engage with emotions over the service you’re providing. 

Stay Creative

You can believe you have the greatest idea in the world, but if it stays on the shelves than your product isn’t as creative as you might have believed. Make sure you’re offering something completely unique from the competition. 

Speak Up

Feel free to share your opinions and give people the opportunity to hear your ideas or opinions. Ultimately, what you say can’t be interesting or perceived as important if you don’t speak up and let everyone know how you feel. 

Treat People Kindly


When it comes to people you’re working with, whether it’s customers or anyone else, it’s important to treat people the way you would want to be treated. It’s about going above and beyond in order to make a positive impression.

Show Respect

There’s a tendency in some advertisements or marketing initiatives to take an almost condescending tone in appealing to the widest audience. Across the board, customers would be more willing to spend their money with an organization that respects their time, money, and intelligence.

Be Yourself

You can get noticed with a bunch of tricks and presenting yourself in a way that’s not authentic, but ultimately you can’t keep up that facade forever. What you have to offer should stand on its own and people will be naturally drawn to you based on your own merit.

Try Something New


Go off the beat and path and try something new and different. Sometimes you have to take risks and be willing to stand apart in order to make a memorable impression. As art director Helmut Krone says, those random moments of inspiration are worth pursuing.

Face Your Fears

Where would we be in the world if we didn’t face our fears and try things even though they’re scary? Face your fears head on and tackle ideas you think are impossible or that scare you. A leap of faith can yield rewards beyond your wildest dreams.

Reach for the Stars

Even if you reach for the stars and the results aren’t exactly what you’d expect, there’s still a learning that goes into going for something. The stars won’t go away and you’ll be able to learn from  your mistakes and try again in the future!

These quotes are inspirational for anyone, not just advertisers. Whether you’re a social media manager, content marketer, or even a startup professional you can learn a thing or two (or 10) from the greats. So take these inspirational quotes to heart and make your advertising ancestors proud!











The next time you hit a creative block just keep some of these quotes in mind. Just remember to be adventurous, original, and most of all real.

Which of these quotes inspires you? Are there any other quotes from ad legends that inspire you? Sound off in the comments below!

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Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Wash

    I don’t usually watch regular, network TV (I’ve only seen a handful of current commercials), but I think current TV advertisers should really go back to the well and learn something from these quotes!

  2. jeffmoore

    If there is no Respect , There is no Love

  3. Jen

    So happy I accidentally stumbled upon this. (Especially the whole “reach for the stars” bit, since I’m 5 years old and love Toy Story…)

    Sometimes it only takes a few simple words to really drive a point home; coincidentally, the same could be said for a simple promotional product. I love the bit about customers being king; without them, we wouldn’t be here!

  4. David Drimer

    david ogilvy is not the source of the above referenced quote; it’s a misattribution. the correct phrasing is, “its not creative unless it sells.” it was the motto of benton & bowles advertising agency from the 1950s on. Ogilvy quotes it one of his books, hence the misunderstanding.

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