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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information in this book is priceless
If you're in the profession of advertising, and this book isn't on your bookshelf, dog-eared, stained and well-worn, you've been ripping off your clients.
The entire premise of Ogilvy on Advertising boils down to one simple statement (coined by Claude Hopkins nearly 80 years ago in his book Scientific Advertising): "Advertising is salesmanship."
Sadly,...
Published on January 21, 2002 by Just Bill

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Advertising / Marketing Book
This book is dated as it was written before the web existed, but overall the concepts expressed are still applicable. As a graphic designer I think it is important to keep in mind what actually moves product over what is creative or artistic. This book expands on that concept in detail. Warning though, the materials are around the 1970's advertising time frame.
Published on August 13, 2007 by Robert L. Betts


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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information in this book is priceless, January 21, 2002
By 
Just Bill (Grand Rapids, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
If you're in the profession of advertising, and this book isn't on your bookshelf, dog-eared, stained and well-worn, you've been ripping off your clients.
The entire premise of Ogilvy on Advertising boils down to one simple statement (coined by Claude Hopkins nearly 80 years ago in his book Scientific Advertising): "Advertising is salesmanship."
Sadly, the advertising world has drifted from that solid mooring. And now those who profess it are considered anachronistic at best. And kooky at worst.
Ogilvy, a staunch admirer of Hopkins, firmly embraced that tenet -- and it propelled him and his agency (Ogilvy and Mather) to the Mount Olympus of the advertising world. Most importantly, it made his clients rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Ogilvy's writing is captivating. His work, legendary. His ideas, timeless. The information in this book is easily work 10 times the cover price.
I've been in the profession of advertising for nearly 15 years. I'm also an adjunct professor at a nearby university. I wholeheartedly recommend Ogilvy On Advertising to my students. I firmly embrace its principles in my profession.
And I, without hesitation, urge you to read it as well.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who uses creativity at work, April 18, 2003
By 
"songbear" (Ashburn, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
This is one of those rare books everyone ought to have to read. Like "The Elements of Style," "Writing That Works, and "Profiles in Courage." I had read this book back in 1990 when I was out of work, looking for a job in advertising. The advertising job never happened for me and I moved on to other things.
I did not realize, until I recently picked up a copy to re-read, how much it had influenced me the first time I read it. Half of the way I conduct myself at work and a lot of my thought processes and strategy is still influenced by what is in this book. I make over 6 times what I made back in 1991. I realize now I have Mr. Ogilvy to thank for a great deal of that.
Read this book. At least once.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half of all the advertising course you need, April 11, 2002
By 
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
Want to understand how to be a copywriter or an art director? You need two books, and then you need to start making ads. Ogilvy's is one of them. Although it's now 20 years old, the examples may seem out of date and some of his imperial pronoucements ("No reverse type") may seem fusty, don't be fooled. You will learn all you need to know about the classical art of making smart ads that make a strong, memorable point here. You will gain a grounding in the history and development of the profession which will serve you well. Then, when you've finished it, read "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This" by Luke Sullivan to bring your perspective a little more up to date (always important in trend-crazed ad agencies). But don't kid yourself that Ogilvy won't be the foundation of your work.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated, pithy, entertaining, informative, January 21, 2000
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
David Ogilvy sums up his years of experience as an advertising legend in a dozen concise and amply illustrated chapters. Critics might be inclined to attack his opinions as dogmatic, and some of the ads he uses as examples appear corny and outdated today. On the other hand, so do the clothes and hairstyles in old movies, but it doesn't make them any less valuable as historical artifacts, or any less interesting.
As for dogmatism, it's actually refreshing to get an unambiguous read on a profession that is by nature nebulous, and if anyone has a right to an opinion, he's the man.
The chapter on print advertising contains enough densely packed information to allow an intelligent novice to design and write a creditable ad, and the book concludes with a series of short profiles of advertising pioneers such as Leo Burnett that are highly engrossing.
Ogilvy's writing style is exemplary for anyone in the communications field: terse, forceful, devoid of hot air. Anyone interested in advertising, marketing, or public relations---or in David Ogilvy as a figure in his own right---will enjoy this classic.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Inside the Mind of A Genius! Ad Improvement Assured., November 28, 2002
By 
Keith Streckenbach (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
You will be so glad you bought this book. You get tens of thousands of dollars worth of "genius consulting" for so little.
I suspect you are like me, and like most marketers, you're always looking for better ways to improve your ROI. I've read at least a dozen of the top marketing, ad writing, copywriting books out there. Scientific Advertising, Copywriting That Sells, and Ogilvy on Advertising are superior.
Ogilvy on Advertising is the best. Written in David Ogilvy's British sense of humour it is enjoyable. This is not a textbook. Every point of advice (and there are many) is well-founded in fact and is time-tested. The book is jam-packed with illustrations of the tips and opinions on how to write/design better ads. And even on what bad ads look/read like.
The only two chapters not useful to me were on Getting a Job in the industry and building an agency (these would certainly be profound for any individual pursuing either of these ends nonetheless.) Other than that, I'd stop reading my review and buy this book today. Within 30 minutes of reading Ogilvy on Advertising you'll be sketching out better ads - as I did.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward Advice from An Advertising Titan, March 20, 2003
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
As many reviewers have mentioned, this book is a classic. Ogilvy's wisdom is only matched by his wit. Some takeaways:
1) "The wrong advertising can actually reduce the sales of a product" (pg 9)
2) "If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops selling." (pg 19)
3) "If it does not sell, it is not creative." (pg 24)
4) Hire "gentlemen with brains." (pg 48)
5) Communicate verbally. Attend the right meetings. Remember the French saying, "He who is absent is always wrong." (pg 56)
6) "Any fool can write bad advertising, but it takes a genius to keep his hands off a good one." (pg 67)
7) People read headlines 5 times as often as they read the body. People remember ads with news 22% more than ads without news. (pg 71)
8) Ads in four colors cost 50% more, but are 100% more memorable. (pg 79)
9) In TV ads, use the name it the first 10 seconds. Show the package.
10) Learn from P&G: They are disciplined. They only enter categories they think will grow. They have multiple brands that compete against each other. They invest heavily to launch a brand. They never change a successful strategy. 60% of the ads show a demonstration. They communciate the name of the products repeatedly. The names fo the products are easy and simple. They don't use celebrities. (pg 155)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense is always timeless, March 14, 2001
By 
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
I've owned the same doggeared, underlined, highlighted and notated copy of Ogilvy on Advertising for 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me that while I continue to buy and read advertising and marketing books at a steady clip I keep coming back to the most pleasurable and sensible book on the subject I've ever read.
I could break the book down and give my opinion on this or that but the book is such a delightful read you should just dive in.
Granted, some may say that the book is out of date but I counter that (oops, with my opinion) Ogilvy understood people and tapped into the fact that regardless of the passage of time and all of our new mellinnium brilliance, we're all basically the same under the surface and basically the same as people 100 years ago.
Enjoy it.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there's only 1 book on advertising to read, this is it., November 27, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
No one who has anything to do with advertising should have anything to do with advertising before reading this book at least 7 times; most of all agency people. Mandatory reading sessions every 6 months should be a be a job requirement for every agency employee. Why? So they don't forget that advertising is not an artform...it is sales...just as Ogilvy says/quotes...if it doesn't sell it's not creative (this doesn't mean that advertising that does sell shouldn't be creative). The single most amazing fact of this book is its flow which provides for totally effortless reading. The wealth of information paird with the entertaining autobiographical and documentary elements and examples creates one of the most solid & comprehensive books on the topic. It is equally suitable reading material for ad-executives, students and laymen (and women).
First-class writing in a first-class way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the best books ever written on advertising!, February 28, 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "bean007" (Burnsville, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
My gosh! What a book! This is, without a doubt, one of the best books ever written on advertising. And certainly the most entertaining.
You'd have to be a brain-dead advertising or marketing moron not to learn a thing or two from Ogilvy's abundant war stories.
Ogilvy's wit abounds. A few of his gems:
"There have always been noisy lunatics on the fringes of the advertising business. Their stock-in-trade includes ethnic humor, eccentric art direction, contempt for research and their self-proclaimed genius. They are seldom found out, because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results..... I comfort myself with the reflection that I have sold more merchandise than all of them put together."
"In saying this, I run the risk of being denounced by idiots who hold that any advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete. They excoriate slice-of-life commercials, demonstrations and talking heads, turning a blind eye to the fact that those techniques still make the cash register ring."
"I sometimes wonder if there is a tacit conspiracy among clients, media and agencies to avoid putting advertising to such acid tests. Everyone involved has a vested interest in prolonging the myth that all advertising increases sales to some degree. It doesn't."
"Do I practice what I preach? Not always. I have created my share of fancy campaigns, but if you ask which of my advertisements has been the most successful, I will answer without hesitation that it was the first ad I wrote for industrial development in Puerto Rico. It won no awards for 'creativity', but it persuaded scores of manufacturers to start factories in that poverty-stricken island. Sad to say, an agency which produced nothing but this kind of down-to-earth advertising would never win a reputation for 'creativity', and would wither on the vine."
"On an airplane not long ago, I overheard the following conversation:
'What business are you in?'
'Engineer. You?'
'I'm an account executive in ad agency.'
'You write the ads?'
'No, copywriters do that.'
'That must be a fun job.'
'It's not easy. We do a lot of research.'
'You do the research?'
'No, we have research people for that.'
'Do you bring in the new clients?'
'That's not my job.'
'Forgive me, but what is your job?'
'Marketing.'
"You do the marketing for the clients?'
'No, they do it themselves.'
'Are you in management?'
'No, but I soon will be.'"
That's not all! There are reprints of many of David Ogilvy's classic print ads. Including some that aren't Ogilvy's (for example, Volkswagen "Think Small".) Ogilvy's Rolls Royce ad, which sold out Rolls Royce North American inventory, is also reproduced. Along with Ogilvy's print ads for Schweppes, Hathaway Shirts and Puerto Rico.
A gold mine of ideas.
As David Ogilvy writes at the end of the book's overture: "If you think this is a lousy book, you should have seen it before my partner Joel Raphaelson did his best to de-louse it. Bless you, Joel."
And bless you, David Ogilvy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE real-world textbook for serious advertising people, August 9, 2006
By 
Greg Robertson (Historic Quincy, MA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ogilvy on Advertising (Paperback)
As owner of an ad agency, I can tell you -- reading this book is ESSENTIAL to anyone who ever wants to be taken seriously in advertising.

It would be easy for you to think that a book on advertising first published in 1984 would be so out of date as to be obsolete today, but in this case you would be wrong. No, it doesn't cover Internet ads, cell phone text message ads, electronic ads in elevators and taxis, or other recent "innovations," but the lessons here apply to ANY media - old or new. That's part of what makes this so indispensible, especially if you ever hope to own and run an ad agency.

Some of the chapter titles alone say exactly what you'll find here:

- How to produce advertising that sells

- How to run an ad agency

- How to get clients

- The secrets of success in business-to-business advertising

- 18 miracles of research

- Is America still top nation?

- What's wrong with advertising?

The straightforward style and clarity of message you read in those titles is indicative of how Ogilvy spoke in person, and how he speaks throughout this book. And unlike the actual text books foist upon me in college, these chapters are written by someone who actually lived the life and made a serious fortune doing it. This is not a technical "how to" book, of course, but knowing the principles behind each of these topics BEFORE reading the technical how-to is extremely helpful.

There are those who look through this book and think the ads Ogilvy talks about -- his own and others' -- are "quaint" or out of fashion, but that's just creative hubris and small-minded ignorance. If you really pay attention to what Ogilvy has to say, and view the featured ads in context, you'll see how applicable it still is to reaching people...and selling to them...today.

Reading this book may not make you great at advertising, but NOT reading and learning from it will weaken your chances. Good luck.
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Ogilvy on Advertising
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy (Paperback - March 12, 1985)
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