Advertisements Represent Their Authors
( Originally Published 1898 )
A little advertising like a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A man who advertises a little bit and quits is sure to lose his money, and is sure to get erroneous ideas into his head.
The first advertising that is done is merely preparatory. It introduces the advertiser to his public; it gains acquaintance for him.
After a while he becomes so well known that in reality he is talking to old friends. The words of old friends have much more weight than those of strangers. There is no doubt about that. Any one can take it right home to himself.
The first few times you meet a man and talk with him you are taking his measure. You are deciding in your own mind what manner of a man he may be; what he does; what line of business he is in, and whether he is honest or not. It is only after the acquaintance has progressed a little that you give his words much weight.
Advertisements are the representatives of their authors. People become acquainted with a man through his advertisements. Trade comes after acquaintance, not before.
The first few ads serve only as a foundation. If you build the cellar walls and quit you will only have made a hole into which you are pretty nearly sure to fall.