Saturday, 7 March 2015

Confessions of an Advertising Man - David Ogilvy, 1963

“We hire gentlemen with brains.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.20).

“Any damn fool can put on a price reduction, but it takes brains and perseverance to create a brand.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.22). “Ask a drug addicted brand manager what happened to his share of the market after the delirium of the deal subsided.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.23).

“I am almost incapable of logical thought, but I have developed techniques for keeping open the telephone line to my unconscious, in case that disorderly repository has anything to tell me. I hear a great deal of music. I am on friendly terms with John Barleycorn. I take long hot baths. I garden. I go into retreat among the Amish. I watch birds. I go for long walks in the country. And I take frequent vacations, so that my brain can lie fallow – no golf, no cocktail parties, no tennis, no bridge, no concentration; only a bicycle.
While thus employed in doing nothing, I receive a constant stream of telegrams from my unconscious, and these become the raw material for my advertisements. But more is required: hard work, an open mind, and ungovernable curiosity.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.48).

 “But I regard the hunt for new clients as a sport … if you play it grimly you will die of ulcers. If you play it with lighthearted gusto, you will survive your failures without losing sleep. Play to win, but enjoy the fun” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.65).

“I have never wanted to get an account so big, that I could not afford to lose it. The day you do that, you commit yourself to living with fear. Frightened agencies lose the courage to give candid advice; once you lose that you become a lackey” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.73).

“I always tell prospective clients about the chinks in our armour. I have noticed that when an antique dealer draws my attention to flaws in a piece of furniture, he wins my confidence” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.82).

When he did a bad ad to appease to the client, staff thought he had gone mad and six month later O&M was fired anyways. “For several years afterward I found it impossible to get any serious marketing man to join Ogilvy, Benson & Mather until I had told him that my opinion of my idiotic Rinso campaign was as low as his own. This episode taught me that it does not pay to appease clients on matters of grand strategy. One Munich was enough.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.92).

“Bad advertising can unsell a product.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.100).

“Frightened people are powerless to produce good advertising.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.101).

„Committees can criticize advertising, but they should never be allowed to create them“ (Ogilvy, 1963, p.108).

“My observation ihas been that mediocre men recognize genius, resent it, feel compelled to destroy it.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.115).

 “a good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.118).

“When we advertise Shell, we give the consumer facts, many of which other gasoline marketers could give, but don’t” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.124).

“The average woman now reads only four of the advertisements which appear in the average magazine. She glances at more, but one glance is enough to tell her that the advertisement is too boring to read.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.125).

“We make advertisements that people want to read. You can’t save souls in an empty church.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.125).

 “A lot of advertisements and television commercials look like the minutes of a committee meeting.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.126).

“they use it (research) as a drunkard uses a lamppost, for support rather than for illumination.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.128).

“Most manufacturer are reluctant to accept any limitation on the image of their brand. They want it to be all things to all people.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.128).

 “A steady diet of price-off promotions lowers the esteem in which the consumer holds the product; can anything which is always sold at a discount be desirable?” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.130).

“nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else’s advertising.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.131).

“A good advertisement has this in common with drama and oratory; that it must be immediately comprehensible and directly moving.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.142).

“There is no need for advertisements that look like advertisements.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.151).

“There are very fewproducts which do not benefit from being given a First-Class ticket through life.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.155).

“As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one which was improved by a billboard.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.156).

 “A habit of graceful surrender on trivial issues will make you difficult to resist on those rare occasions when you must stand and fight on a major issue” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.176).

“My experience has been that it is relatively easy for advertising to persuade consumers to try a new product. But they grow maddeningly deaf to the advertising of products which have been around for a long time.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.182).

“I am less offended by obscenity than by tasteless typography, banal photographs, clumsy copy, and cheap jingles.” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.193).

“Tell the truth but make the truth fascinating” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.195).

“Tolerate genius” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.195).

“We prefer the discipline of knowledge to the anarchy of ignorance” (Ogilvy, 1963, p.195).

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