Useful quotes from ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac + New Video

On the Road is the classic biographic novel in which Kerouac journals his adventures in traveling across America, drinking, partying, jazz and writing poetry. There are also some golden quotes hidden inside:

I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Who are the people who interest you? For Kerouac they were fellow artists, writers and musicians who weren’t happy with the establishment and together they created the beatnik movement. Seth Godin calls this ‘your tribe’. You can’t please everybody, but if you can find a selected group of people and create something remarkable for them, they will become your true fans.

By the way, check out this new video I’ve made, which was entirely inspired by this quote:

They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there — and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see. But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.

 

Don’t sweat the little stuff, it’ll probably turn out ok in the end.

Get On the Road on Amazon

Useful quotes from ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ Part 1

Ogilvy on Advertising, written by the daddy of advertisement himself, is a MUST read for both business owners and designers alike. You will learn how to research, write and design for whatever you’re selling.

 

If you think the product too dull, I have news for you: there are no dull products, only dull writers.

 

Remember that this is a man who made soap interesting.

 

In the past, just about every advertiser has assumed that in order to sell his goods he has to convince consumers that his product is superior to his competitor’s. ‘This may not be necessary. It may be sufficient to convince consumers that your product is positively good. If the consumer feels certain that your product is good and feels uncertain about your competitor’s, he will buy yours. ‘If you and your competitors all make excellent products, don’t try to imply that your product is better. Just say what’s good about your product – and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.

 

Many companies love to use superlatives like ‘the best’, ‘the biggest’, ‘the fastest’, etc. Even if it’s true people are so used to seeing it they probably won’t believe it. Being honest is instead a refreshing approach. See this classic Avis ad for reference.

 

If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs, but if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, Ogilvy & Mather will become a company of giants.

 

Takeaway: work with/hire people better than you.

 

In my Confessions, I told how I started by making a list of the clients I most wanted – General Foods, Lever Brothers, Bristol Myers, Campbell Soup Company and Shell. It took time, but in due course I got them all, plus American Express, Sears Roebuck, IBM, Morgan Guaranty, Merrill Lynch and a few others, including three governments. 

 

This quote blew my mind. By knowing who he eventually wanted to work for, he was forced to always step his work quality up until it met that top tier standard. Who are your dream clients?

 

They want to know what commission you will charge. I answer, ‘If you are going to choose your agency on the basis of price, you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. What you should worry about is not the price you pay for your agency’s services, but the selling power of your advertising.’

 

A sentiment shared by Oren Klaff’s book Pitch Anything, which I will cover in later blog post.

 

The headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit – like a whiter wash, more miles per gallon, freedom from pimples, fewer cavities. 

 

When people look at your ad, they are thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’

 

Avoid visual banality. If you want the viewer to pay attention to your commercial, show her something she has never seen before. You won’t have much success if you show her sunsets and happy families at the dinner table. 

Be different!

Many more golden nuggets in this book. To be continued…

Ogilvy on Advertising on Amazon