21 Stunning Copywriting Quotes You Need to Know

by abugah
34 replies
Both veteran and newbie copywriters can immensely benefit from these quotes...



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1. "On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy."
David Ogilvy


2. "It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money..."
David Ogilvy


3. I've learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.
- Leo Burnett


4. "A copywriter should have 'an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them."
George Gribbin


5. An ad is finished only when you no longer can find a single element to remove.
-Robert Fleege


6. 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


7. I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.
-Philip Dusenberry


8 . The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.
-Thomas Jefferson

9. "Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad."
- Howard Gossage


10. "The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships."
Leo Burnett


11. An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.
Fred Allen


12. Advertising is like learning - a little is a dangerous thing. If a man has not the pluck to keep on advertising, all the money he has already spent is lost.
P.T. Barnum


13. The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.
William Bernbach


14. If you can't turn yourself into a consumer, you probably shouldn't be in the advertising business at all.
Leo Burnett


15. We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.
Robert Collier


16. Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can't.
Morris Hite


17. Advertising is Salesmanship in Print.
John E. Kennedy


18.The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.
David Ogilvy

19. Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.
Shirley Polykoff


20. You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that's what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don't yet understand.
Rosser Reeves


21. Poor copy cannot overcome faults or gaps in dealer distribution; it cannot even cash in on the finest dealer setups. But good copy can, and does, surmount many dealer difficulties, making them secondary, and selling in spite of them.
Victor Schwab
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Let me know what you think about these 21 quotes.
#copywriting #quotes #stunning
  • Profile picture of the author Sean Collins
    Great quotes.

    Number 8 is brilliant, but may have been Henry Ford rather than TJ.

    Thank you for these.

    Sean
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  • 22. Every product has a unique personality and it is your job to find it.

    - Joe Sugarman
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Very good Abugah.

      I have copied that onto a word doc to print out.

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Originally Posted by abugah View Post

    15. We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.
    Robert Collier
    Best. Quote. Ever.

    --- Ross
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
      Originally Posted by abugah
      15. We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.
      Robert Collier

      Originally Posted by Ross Bowring View Post

      Best. Quote. Ever.

      --- Ross
      I'll second that, Ross.

      Amazing!

      Take care,

      Bill Jeffels



      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
        Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

        Originally Posted by abugah
        15. We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.
        Robert Collier



        I'll second that, Ross.

        Amazing!

        Take care,

        Bill Jeffels



        .
        Bill Jeffels... pleasure to have you aboard.

        --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    My fav:

    "Any copy that runs on a billboard should fit on the back of a business card."

    Yep!
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    1+2+4+5+9+10+19 = a copywriting course on an index card. A person of average intelligence can extrapolate the finer points from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    Not strictly about copywriting but here's a couple that I like.

    "A buyer is a buyer is a buyer" (This echoes frequently in my head from a Dan Kennedy speech. Not sure if it's originally his)

    Closely linked with "Fish where the fish are" and Halbert's line about the most important thing being a hungry market not a brilliant burger.
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    Scary good...
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I think they are great. I have read some before and I have copied them for my own reference and to share with others as well.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      14 more...

      "Believe me, nothing works as well on the web as deadlines." (Clayton Makepeace)

      "Facts are irrelevant. What matters is what the consumer believes." (Seth Godin)

      "Human beings don't know how to value information. So you must teach them." (Eben Pagan)

      "If your business model requires free traffic in order to work, you don't have a business." (Perry Marshall)

      "Make your advertising too valuable to throw away." (Sonia Simone)

      "Personality is a point of differentiation no one can copy." (Yaro Starak)

      "Reinventing the wheel is way over rated. In fact, it's downright stupid if you can model what's already working." (Jeff Walker)

      "The more vivid the picture the words paint in your mind when you read them, the greater the readership, the greater the response." (Michel Fortin)

      "The secret to positioning is to simply make whatever's different about you, your strength." (Craig Garber)

      "The world will not invite you to the feast. You must burst in, demand a seat, and take it." (John Carlton)

      "There really is no such thing as a boring subject. Just boring, unimaginative writers." (Ben Hart)

      "To become a successful direct response marketer, it pays to learn as much about the psychology of the mind as possible." (Alex Mandossian)

      "Typically, installment payments lift response at least 15%." (Bob Bly)

      "When people go to a web page, the thing that they want more than anything else is instant clarity." (Ken McCarthy)

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author abugah
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        14 more...


        "The world will not invite you to the feast. You must burst in, demand a seat, and take it." (John Carlton)


        Alex
        I think this is the best from the group. It applies to everything in life not just copywriting. The meaning of this is actually very deep.

        If I am right with the interpretation, to burst into the copywriting scene, you must write copy that can't be ignored.

        To make a mark in the direct response industry you must master the skills to the point people give you a seat whenever you show up.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
          Originally Posted by abugah View Post

          I think this is the best from the group. It applies to everything in life not just copywriting. The meaning of this is actually very deep.

          If I am right with the interpretation, to burst into the copywriting scene, you must write copy that can't be ignored.

          To make a mark in the direct response industry you must master the skills to the point people give you a seat whenever you show up.
          According to my understanding, it has to do with positioning yourself in the marketplace.

          Alex
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  • Thanks for these. I run a weekly segment about copywriting quotes on my blog and these are very useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author PsychoProfits
    Abugah & Alex, some great quotes, thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    These quotes, plus a few more, could be an extremely useful product if properly packaged and with compelling copy. It could be a great little WSO or a dedicated, inspiring website.

    Great job!

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author abugah
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      These quotes, plus a few more, could be an extremely useful product if properly packaged and with compelling copy. It could be a great little WSO or a dedicated, inspiring website.

      Great job!

      - Rick Duris
      Thanks for that. In fact, I am doing a product where I will offer 77 well arranged copywriting quotes as bonus.

      You should possibly be the first to grab that!
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      • Profile picture of the author abugah
        Originally Posted by jannatus View Post

        makes a great addition to any copywriters aresenal

        Very true. It is like a mini copywriting course.
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        • Profile picture of the author epreneur
          Excellent collection, Abugah, and a great way to acquaint the next
          generation of copywriters with the "greats" who pioneered
          the art.

          (And thanks for the 14 new ones, Alex!)

          I'd also like to include a few gems I've discovered:

          "I don't know the rules of grammar. . . . If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular."
          --David Ogilvy

          "Forget words like 'hard sell' and 'soft sell.' That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you're saying it like it's never been said before."
          --William Bernbach

          "The real advertising writer who is after results makes the reader want something - and then provides what the reader will consider a good excuse for buying it."
          --Clyde Bedell

          "The mystery of writing advertisements consists mainly in saying in a few plain words exactly what it is desired to say, precisely as it would be written in a letter or told to an acquaintance."
          --George P. Rowell

          Steve
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          Stephen Boutelle
          prosperityunleashed.com

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          • Profile picture of the author abugah
            Originally Posted by epreneur View Post

            "The real advertising writer who is after results makes the reader want something - and then provides what the reader will consider a good excuse for buying it."
            --Clyde Bedell


            Steve
            This is a good one. It reminds of several billboards I see that do not follow the basic AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) concept in their advertising.

            The conclusion would be that what they are doing is public relations not marketing.
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            • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
              ...they don't overload on the adjectives and adverbs...STUNNING indeed.

              gjabiz


              Originally Posted by abugah View Post

              This is a good one. It reminds of several billboards I see that do not follow the basic AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) concept in their advertising.

              The conclusion would be that what they are doing is public relations not marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author DGFletcher
    I think number six is something that might be the coolest thing I've read all day. This is incredibly awesome--and so true!

    Here's one that I might add:

    "If aren't getting what you want, then you're doing it wrong. That said, give [your audience] some time to give you what you want."

    It was from a friend of mine, Nugowan das Matias.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bananaprod
    Originally Posted by abugah View Post

    Both veteran and newbie copywriters can immensely benefit from these quotes...



    .....................................


    4. "A copywriter should have 'an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them."
    George Gribbin


    10. "The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships."
    Leo Burnett



    19. Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.
    Shirley Polykoff

    These are my personal favorites. Good job abugah!
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    Sell your products on your website in 7 minutes flat...
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony_Brayley
      Hey abugah,

      Thanks so much for these! They're all excellent but number 7 got a good chuckle out of me.

      Cheers,

      Tony Brayley.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smiling1
    thought provoking and fun
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  • Profile picture of the author palaki
    Thanks for these wonderful inspiration in the form of quotes. I was a little hesitant in putting money for advertising my online content writing work. However, after reading these quotes, I understood the importance of advertising world for any form of business...Thanks alot for this..cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffster
    Thanks abugah, some wonderful insight and a few laughs. Number 6 had me laughing but it's so true. I've seen people who think they can just work harder and the advertising will just take care of itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyrilchua
    Cool thread man. Subscribed. Gonna copy down some of these tips to use for my own sales copy pretty soon. Keep em good tips going!
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  • Profile picture of the author beachgc
    A great collection of quotes. Thanks for putting these together.

    I think the best one is No. 6 "Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you're doing, but nobody else does"

    Have a great day everyone!

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    You can earn money online, or get paid to drive your car!

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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Murphy
    Thanks for the Tips James. Some very thought -provoking ones are in there and lessons for us all to remember.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caeristhiona
    These are great! He's not a real person, but I have always loved Don Draper's bon mots about the world of advertising:

    "Advertising is about one thing: happiness."
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  • Profile picture of the author writeronfire
    A little sexist, but true: "Copy is like a skirt, it should be short enough to keep it interesting but long enough to cover the subject."
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