People have loved to express their hatred of advertising since the first invasive ad was painted on the wall of some early caveman’s steakhouse. Equally, the Mad Men and Women who have excelled at making ads have loved to bombastically declare their love of the world’s second-oldest profession.
With that in mind, here is a sampling of what’s been said about advertising through the years, for better or worse. Sorry, you will find zero Don Draper-isms here, because Don Draper wasn’t a real person and he was a crappy copywriter.
This is not one of the good quotes (has old Jerry never had a clandestine quickie?), but it is from one of the good guys. Many of you may not know about the career of Mad Man and Brooklynite Della Femina because he is a bit overshadowed by George Lois — but he was/is crazy. In an “ideation” session with Japanese company Panasonic that wasn’t going well, he presented this headline: “From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor.”
His agency, not surprisingly, didn’t win the account. In 1969, Della Femina published a book on the ad biz with that headline as the title. It’s the funniest book about advertising I’ve ever read.
Again, many of you youngsters have never heard of Mad Man (and Brooklynite) Dusenberry. He started as a junior copywriter at BBDO in the early 1960s … and retired as chairman of BBDO in 2002.
He wrote the taglines “The Choice Of A New Generation” for Pepsi, and “It’s Morning Again In America” for Ronald Reagan.
The brilliant seven-time Nobel Prize-nominated British writer was perplexed and annoyed by advertising during his career. That second blurb is doozy. The sonnets quote is paraphrased. Here’s the full quote: “It is far easier to write ten passable 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.”
Ha-ha, OUCH! He’s right, of course. Advertising—at least on the business side — has always been at the forefront of Newspeak, as Orwell called it in “1984.” Right now, I’m trying to imagine him walking around SXSW listening to wankers say things like “experiential marketing activation.”
This public evisceration of advertising was placed in the streets of London about four years ago by, not Banksy, but British street artist Robert Montgomery — who calls his illegal billboard hijacking work “concrete poetry.” See more of it here.
George Lois is called “the original Mad Man.” This is the truest short definition of the creative process I’ve ever read. Take note, branded content hacks.
Incidentally, Lois had no love for “Mad Men,” which he called “a show about a bunch of scum bags.”
Lastly, Luke Sullivan, a more modern Mad Man and a great copywriter who helped build the Martin Agency into the creative leader (GEICO, etc.) it is today takes a noble stab at explaining the mysterious magic that zaps back and forth between copywriters and art directors — magic that is woefully missing from virtually all digital and native work today.
If you’ve got other good/bad quotes, add them in the comments.
Fireball taps into streaming, Instagram to reach Gen Z of drinking age
To drive reach and awareness with Gen Z, spirits brand Fireball last month increased its digital video output on Instagram and streaming sites like ESPN, Peacock and Hulu with 15-20 second ads. It is the cinnamon whiskey’s first creative campaign to market to Gen Z, as many are now of legal drinking age. (The demographic […]
Why regulators are still at odds over ad tech data privacy standards
The problem with attempts to bring order to online advertising’s data industrial complex is how loosely written the rules are.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: Amazon holds untapped marketing potential for brands, agencies
Digiday's survey revealed a huge difference between how brands and agencies are spending on Amazon and other retail marketing sites compared with how confident they are that those channels drive marketing success.
SponsoredHow marketers are tailoring data-driven creative to engage audiences on CTV
Gabriela Maestre, vice president of creative solutions, Tremor International As the end of the year approaches and marketing teams look to finalize their 2023 budgets, many are wondering how to ensure their ads are set up for success in the months ahead, appealing to unique audiences whose media consumption habits continue to evolve. Advances in […]
How brands like Pepsi and American Eagle are investing in original sound marketing on TikTok
Pepsi announced a partnership with singer and actress Chlöe Bailey on Tuesday to release a new version of the song “Footloose,” encouraging TikTok users to join a dance challenge using the sound.
Evil Geniuses is using its DEI-friendly profile to win business from brand partners like Bud Light, HP and others
Evil Geniuses’ DEI-focused branding allows it to serve as a more palatable alternative to esports organizations embroiled in controversy.