Ogilvy Logo
 
It is quite an interesting story that Ogilvy started his advertising career, at the age of 40, when he set-up his ground breaking and highly successful agency, Ogilvy and Mather. He had Shell, Lever Brothers and Rolls Royce as accounts, with billings hovering over $100m in just 10 years of being in business.
Ogilvy’s career was built upon a number of disparate experiences that he drew upon, from being an “AGA cooker” door to door salesman to being a farmer in Amish country, he came a long way to be addressed as the father of modern advertising.

Here below are some of his most famous quotes:

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.
David Ogilvy

Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
David Ogilvy

Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.
David Ogilvy

Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.
David Ogilvy

Advertising reflects the mores of society, but it does not influence them.
David Ogilvy

Can advertising foist an inferior product on the consumer? Bitter experience has taught me that it cannot. On those rare occasions when I have advertised products which consumer tests have found inferior to other products in the same field, the results have been disastrous.
David Ogilvy

Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.
David Ogilvy

Does advertising corrupt editors? Yes it does, but fewer editors than you may suppose… the vast majority of editors are incorruptible.
David Ogilvy

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.
David Ogilvy

Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.
David Ogilvy

First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.
David Ogilvy

Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.
David Ogilvy

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.
David Ogilvy

I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.
David Ogilvy

I did not feel ‘evil’ when I wrote advertisements for Puerto Rico. They helped attract industry and tourists to a country which had been living on the edge of starvation for 400 years.
David Ogilvy

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.
David Ogilvy

I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.
David Ogilvy

I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.
David Ogilvy

I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.
David Ogilvy

I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.
David Ogilvy

If each of us hires people smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs.
David Ogilvy

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, we shall become a company of giants.
David Ogilvy

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.
David Ogilvy

If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don’t let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else’s advertising.
David Ogilvy

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
David Ogilvy

It is flagrantly dishonest for an advertising agent to urge consumers to buy a product which he would not allow his own wife to buy.
David Ogilvy

It strikes me as bad manners for a magazine to accept one of my advertisements and then attack it editorially – like inviting a man to dinner then spitting in his eye.
David Ogilvy

It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.
David Ogilvy

Leaders grasp nettles.
David Ogilvy

Like a midwife, I make my living bringing new babies into the world, except that mine are new advertising campaigns.
David Ogilvy

Many manufacturers secretly question whether advertising really sells their product, but are vaguely afraid that their competitors might steal a march on them if they stopped.
David Ogilvy

Many people – and I think I am one of them – are more productive when they’ve had a little to drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I’m far better able to write.
David Ogilvy

Much of the messy advertising you see on television today is the product of committees. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them.
David Ogilvy

Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.
David Ogilvy

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.
David Ogilvy

Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.
David Ogilvy

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
David Ogilvy

Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.
David Ogilvy

Political advertising ought to be stopped. It’s the only really dishonest kind of advertising that’s left. It’s totally dishonest.
David Ogilvy

Remove advertising, disable a person or firm from proclaiming its wares and their merits, and the whole of society and of the economy is transformed. The enemies of advertising are the enemies of freedom.
David Ogilvy

Some manufacturers illustrate their advertisements with abstract paintings. I would only do this if I wished to conceal from the reader what I was advertising.
David Ogilvy

The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything.
David Ogilvy

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
David Ogilvy

The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.
David Ogilvy

The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.
David Ogilvy

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.
David Ogilvy

The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.
David Ogilvy

The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.
David Ogilvy

The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.
David Ogilvy

The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.
David Ogilvy

There are very few men of genius in advertising agencies. But we need all we can find. Almost without exception they are disagreeable. Don’t destroy them. They lay golden eggs.
David Ogilvy

There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.
David Ogilvy

What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.
David Ogilvy

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.
David Ogilvy

You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.
David Ogilvy

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Strange But True!

May 19, 2008

There are some strange facts about Ogilvy fellas:

He, his Father and his Grand father, were all born on the same day: i.e. June 23!
He was born in the year 1901., in Horsley, a village in Surrey about 30 miles south west of London. There was interestingly a “Witch” living nearby called Dame Feathers, who lived in chalk pit.
His neighbor’s niece’s name was Beatrix Potter!

Ogily on Ogilvy

May 17, 2008

 

 

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Here is an interesting and long interview of Ogilvy, in which he talks about some of his most successful campaigns. The video is made more interesting because of the small anecdotes that he shares, that gives an insight into his thought process and methodology; something you cant find in text books!

Superb, commanding, confidant & Pure Ogilvy.

Enjoy!!!

Here is the link to the YouTube page

The Ways of creativity are mysterious. Sometimes you are oozing with it and you need a vent, and some times, you have an empty pan which even makes no sound when hit with a stick. As you know, this blog is about the world of advertising, as I see it. I have recently come to know more about some interesting people and I would like to run a small chapter wise commentary on each of them, and would like to dissect their lives, their times and also try to include some of their best works while reasoning about why they were, what they were!

So…….lets start with this guy called Ogilvy. I am not sure if I have spelled his name correctly but as far as I know, he is considered to be, the father of modern advertising!

Lets us see who this chap is and whom did he fondled to father such a rogue yet interesting child as modern advertising.

 

 

 

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“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” (1958 )

 

I believe this is the line, which made him!

He apparently, went to the Rolls-Royce workshop and hanged around there for months before coming up with this line. When I heard this from a friend of mine, I was shocked! This must be a guy who takes his work seriously!!!

I started following him a bit. Googled him sometimes when I had no work and got a treasure trove of creative work attributed to him spanning industries and tangents! He sure was a smart chap!

 

According to some of the web pages dedicated to his persona on the world wide web, he described himself as a Scottish! Although he found his grips in amorous Amreeeka.

Interestingly, in the year 1975, the much revered “Times” called him to be the “most sought after wizard in the advertising industry”, (if at all you treat it as an organized industry!).

 

The following are his ground breaking list of “special” works (to be honest, I had no choice but to copy it from this source!)

 

 

Geiness(1950)

……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man from Schweppes is here

……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man in the Hathaway shirt

……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darling, I'm having the most extraordinary experience. . .

……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolls Royce(1958)

……….

 

 

Here are some links to persue in case you are interested!

 

http://www.ogilvy.com/history/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ogilvy

http://www.ciadvertising.org/studies/student/98_fall/theory/hornor/index.htm

http://www.mclink.it/personal/MC8216/m/ogilvy2.htm

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/David_Ogilvy

 

Here further are some of his most famous quotes:

 

  • “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” 1958
    • Source: Rolls-Royce print ad
    • Note: This is sometimes referred to as the most famous headline in advertising history.
  • “… there are now unmistakeable signs of a trend in favor of superior products at premium prices. The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.”
    • Ogilvy on Advertising, p. 170
  • “Always hold your sales meetings in rooms too small for the audience, even if it means holding them in the WC. ‘Standing room only’ creates an atmosphere of success, as in theatres and restaurants, while a half-empty auditorium smells of failure.”
    • Ogilvy on Advertising, p. 172
  • “Viewers have a way of remembering the celebrity while forgetting the product. I did not know this when I paid Eleanor Roosevelt $35,000 to make a commercial for margarine. She reported that her mail was equally divided. “One half was sad because I had damaged my reputation. The other half was happy because I had damaged my reputation.” Not one of my proudest memories.
    • Ogilvy on Advertising, p. 109
  • “When someone is made the head of an office in the Ogilvy & Mather chain, I send him a Matrioshka doll from Gorky. If he has the curiosity to open it, and keep opening it until he comes to the inside of the smallest doll, he finds this message: 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, we shall become a company of giants.”
    • Ogilvy on Advertising, p. 47
  • Never Write an Advertisement Which You Wouldn’t Want Your Own Family To Read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine. Do as you would be done by.”
    • Confessions of an Advertising Man, p. 87 (Ballantine Books)

  • “We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost — for support, but not for illumination.”
  • “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.”
  • “The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.”
  • “Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon. ”
    • Notes: The business in question is advertising, specifically copywriting.
  • “Once upon a time I was riding on the top of a First Avenue bus, when I heard a mythical housewife say to another, “Molly, my dear, I would have bought that new brand of toilet soap if only they hadn’t set the body copy in ten point Garamond.” Don’t you believe it. What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”
  • H. L. Mencken once said that nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. That is not true. I have come to believe that it pays to make all your layouts project a feeling of good taste, provided that you do it unobtrusively. An ugly layout suggests an ugly product. There are very few products which do not benefit from being given a first class ticket through life.”
  • “It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement, and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look and read. Therefore, study the graphics used by editors and imitate them. Study the graphics used in advertisements, and avoid them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 9, 2008

“buy me and you\'ll get a good bargain”, ca. 550 BC, Louvre

Black-figured lekythos with the inscription: “buy me and you’ll get a good bargain”, ca. 550 BC, Louvre

Advertising

May 9, 2008

“Ghabraiye nahi, hamen kuch nahi chahiye, hum to bus itna chahte hain ke aap baratiyon ka swagat, “Pan Parag” se karen!

OhhOhh “Pan Parag”…… Hamen kya maaloom aap bhi “Paan Parag” ke shaukeen hain, ye lijiye “Pan Parag”!

 

Remember these lines; well…these are the oldest Ad lines that I can remember. So technically, my personal history of advertising starts from this Ad!

This ad is special in many ways, and the most important of the reasons for its prominence in the Indian psyche is its stickiness.

Look at the number of times the word “Pan Parag” is mentioned in the Ad. I am sure, a lot of toddlers of my age would have been actually initiated to chewing ‘Pan Masala’ due to this advert.