Will Rogers never met an ad man he liked.

February 21, 2009 at 2:21 am Leave a comment

Sometimes I quote Will Rogers in presentations. Not the bits that everyone knows–”I never met a man I didn’t like” or “All I know is what I read in the papers.” These just make me tired. Rogers said something that is much more interesting and frankly useful when I find myself attempting to persuade a client not to do something that I know in my bones is a bad idea. It goes as follows:

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

I doubt Rogers would approve of anything he said being used by an ad man (even though in his time he was a dominant media figure on the order of Oprah Winfrey). Below is part of a column he wrote during the 1920s on our dark art. As you’ll see, he was not a fan (Note: I have preserved his idiosyncratic capitalization and punctuation):

“You can’t go to bed, you can’t get up, you can’t brush your Teeth without doing it to some Advertising Slogan. We are even born nowadays by a Slogan: ‘Better Parents have Better Babies.’ Our Children are raised by a Slogan: ‘Feed your baby Cowlicks Malted Milk and he will be another Dempsey.’ Everything is a slogan and of all the Bunk things in America the Slogan is the Champ.

“Even if you want to get married a sign will stare you in the face: ‘You get the girl, we will furnish the ring.” That has led more Saps astray than any misinformation ever published….

“You see a fool Slogan can get you into anything. But you never heard of a Slogan getting you out of anything. It takes either Bullets, Hard Work or Money to get you out of anything. Nobody has ever invented a Slogan to use instead of paying your taxes.”

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Advertising and Marketing. Tags: , .

“An Angry Voice” is silenced in Egypt. Here’s why you should care. Roll over, Gutenberg. Step aside, Farnsworth. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Feeds

February 2009
M T W T F S S
    Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

%d bloggers like this: