9 Things Mark Twain Taught Me About Advertising

Great post over at AdLand today, submitted by someone named TopMadMan. Here’s a sample:

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
Advertising is life made to look larger than life, through images and words that promise a wish fulfilled, a dream come true, a problem solved. Even Viagra follows Mark Twain’s keen observation about advertising. The worst kind of advertising exaggerates to get your attention, the best, gets your attention without exaggeration. It simply states a fact or reveals an emotional need, then lets you make the leap from “small to large.” Examples of the worst: before-and-after photos for weight loss products and cosmetic surgery-both descend to almost comic disbelief. The best: Apple’s “silhouette” campaign for iPod and the breakthrough ads featuring Eminem-both catapult iPod to “instant cool” status.

Read the rest here.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Ha ha ha ha ha! No offense, but the iPod would’ve been cool if they’d sold it via a cartoon tiger. Let’s not give too much credit where credit ain’t due.

  2. not too sure, duane. the ipod was not the first device on the market. it might not even have been the best. but it did catapult and define the category.

  3. sounds kewl, i never had an ipod it’s costly and just a piece of thing that will be replaced by a new kind of ipod which cost twice than the one before it.
    that’s all i know.. just a thing. hehe ^_^’
    but ads. really did catch the market tho, even if most are not necessary things to buy. lol