I think Albert Einstein could have had a great career in advertising. It may not have brought him the notoriety that his career in science did. From what I have learned about the mind of the great physicist, I think he would have thrived in the world of advertising.

Einstein certainly loved science. In 1932 he wrote, “It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things.” Yes, it’s true that the advertising industry is routinely ranked among the least trusted professions. I think that’s because the minority of agencies (and advertisers) who seek to deceive are the ones who get the press. The real objective of advertising is to use creativity to help people arrive at the correct conclusions about a product, service or destination. The foundation of an advertising message should be truth. Advertising and science are about finding the truth. Einstein would have liked that.

Another of my favorite quotes is “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” It roughly describes what it means to use a research-based approach to advertising. Have plenty of good data about the product, target market, demographics, buying habits, etc., then put objectives and other considerations into a written creative brief, and then let the creative process (ie: imagination) take over from there.

Perhaps most importantly, Einstein understands risk taking and the potential for a big return from a truly great idea. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible,” he said. He also knows the challenge of pitching wildly innovative ideas to those who, well, let’s just say they don’t like to leave their comfort zone — “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

One thing is certain, it sure would have been fun to brainstorm with the great professor.


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