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Why we advertise...
1. The first time a man looks at an ad, he doesn’t see it.
2. The second time, he doesn’t notice it.
3. The third time, he is conscious of its existance.
4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it.
5. The fifth time, he reads the ad.
6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh Brother!"
8. The eight time, he says, “Here’s that counfounded thing again!”
9. The ninth time, he wonders whether it amounts to anything.
10. The tenth time, he will ask his neighbor if he has tried it.
11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
13. The thirteenth time, he thinks it might be worth something.
14. The fourteenth time, he remembers that he wanted such a thing for a long time.
15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to himself to buy it.
18. The eighteenth time, he curses at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he's informed by his wife that she's already ordered it, and not missing his last chance to take credit for such a brilliant idea, he pays for it.
The preceding was offered by Thomas Smith, a nineteenth century London businessman (1885).