'Be comfortable with who you are', reads the headline on the Hush Puppies poster. Are they mad? If people were comfortable with who they were, they'd never buy any products except the ones they needed, and then where would the advertising industry be?
Advertisers are the interpreters of our dreams — Joseph interpreting for Pharaoh. Like the movies, they infect the routine futility of our days with purposeful adventure. Their weapons are our weaknesses: fear, ambition, illness, pride, selfishness, desire, ignorance. And these weapons must be kept as bright as a sword.
Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero.
Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
Advertising is legalized lying.
Advertising is the genie which is transforming America into a place of comfort, luxury and ease for millions.
Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.
Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.
Advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Advertising is the principal reason why the business person has come to inherit the earth.
Advertising is the very essence of democracy.
Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.
Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise.
Good wine needs no bush, and perhaps products that people really want need no hard-sell or soft-sell TV push. Why not? Look at pot.
How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French fries.
However far your travels take you, you will never find the girl who smiles out at you from the travel brochure.
I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.
I have discovered the most exciting, the most arduous literary form of all, the most difficult to master, the most pregnant in curious possibilities. I mean the advertisement. It is far easier to write ten passably effective Sonnets, good enough to take in the not too inquiring critic, than one effective advertisement that will take in a few thousand of the uncritical buying public.
I've learned any fool can write a bad ad, but it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.