David Ogilvy – philosophy and quotes

I got interested in learning more about David Ogilvy. I found this article to be pretty informative: https://postcron.com/en/blog/david-ogilvy-7-commandments-advertising-marketers-need-know/

"Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating."
David Ogilvy

They summarize Ogilvyan method in 7 commandments

Commandment #1: Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from the sole purpose of advertising.

Commandment #2: Clearly define your positioning: What and for Who?

“I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.”

Commandment #3: Do your homework. Study your consumer in detail.

“Advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy.“

Commandment #4: Think of the consumer as a woman, she wants all the information you can give her.

Commandment #5: Talk to them in the language they use every day, the language in which they think.

Commandment #6: Write great headlines and you’ll have successfully invested 80% of your money.

“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.”

“Never use tricky or irrelevant headlines… People read too fast to figure out what you are trying to say.”

Commandment #7: Highlight the product by making it the hero.

“I never assign a product to a writer unless I know that he is personally interested in it. Every time I have written a bad campaign, it has been because the product did not interest me.”

Example: Apple’s positioning strategy focuses primarily on emotions and the consumer’s lifestyle, their imagination, passion, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and they promise to make people’s lives easier. When you buy an Apple product, you immediately become part of a generation that believes that the rebels can change the world and have got to fight for what they think.

My own addition to the commandments

Commandment #8: Start with THE BIG IDEA

“It takes a big idea to attract the attention of the 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”

Quotes by David Ogily:

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

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

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

The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.

Books by David Ogilvy:

Ogilvy on Advertising

Confessions of an Advertising Man

Leave a Reply