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The Unpublished David Ogilvy
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 1998
There are creative people in advertising who think and then create great campaigns. And then there is a rare breed of geniuses for whom creativity is not a professional onus; it's a way of life. David Ogilvy belongs to this breed. "The Unpublished David Ogilvy" proves this beyond doubt. Whether it's a one-liner memo or a long speech, there's always something immensely revolutionary, and immenesely simple, in DO's writings. Thanks a zillion, Joel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2013
This collection of David Ogilvy's memos, letters, speech excerpts, and other documents was compiled by an Ogilvy & Mather executive to commemorate the founder's 75th birthday. The writings span a 50-year period from 1935-1986. The cool thing about this book is that most of the contents were not written with the intent to be published, so it feels like a behind-the-scenes look at his management style as well as his thoughts on various subjects.

THE CREATIVE FUNCTION

"You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it... Unless your advertising contains a Big Idea it will pass like a ship in the night... Neither soundness nor brilliance is any good by itself; each requires the other... promise, positioning--and brilliant ideas."

"The greater the similarity between products, the less part reason plays in brand selection... We try to create sharply defined personalities for our brands. And stick to those personalities, year after year."

"Nobody in advertising matters more than the copywriter and the art director." On the importance of strong design: "What would you think if the space-buyer in your agency could buy 31 times as much circulation per dollar as other space-buyers... That is exactly the position you art directors are in."

WRITING

Ogilvy said "people who think well, write well." He recommended that all of his employees read Writing That Works; How to Communicate Effectively In Business by Roman and Raphaelson. He also urged his staff, "For Pete's sake write shorter memos. He hated "pseudo-academic jargon... like attitudinal, paradigms, demassification, reconceptualization, symbiotic linkage and so on. Pretentious bulls***."

From a speech given at Colby College, where he was a trustee: "I believe that one of the most useful things we can teach our students is to write lucid reports... and very few college graduates can... Knowledge is useless unless you know how to communicate it--in writing."

NEW BUSINESS

"We should never take an account unless at least one key man can approach it with enthusiasm."

FIRING CLIENTS

Ogilvy met with the CEO of an unnamed client. "I said I've come to resign your business. He asked why. I said because your Executive Vice President is a s***... He's treating your people atrociously and he's treating my people atrociously. Now what he does to your people--that's your business. But I'm not going to allow this man to go on demoralizing the people of Ogilvy &Mather." He also resigned the Rolls Royce account. "The last 600 cars you sent to the United States don't work. And I will no longer be a party to recommending that people buy them."

SHORT-TERM THINKING

Ogilvy was irritated by package goods manufacturers who spent more money on sales promotions than on advertising. "They are spending twice as much on price-cutting as on building brands... they are training consumers to buy on price instead of brand." He concluded that "the men who employ them are more interested in next quarter's earnings than in building their brands." This relates to his repulsion for "the jackasses on Wall Street."

COMPANY CULTURE

"In promoting people to top jobs, we are influenced as much by their character as anything else." Ogilvy preferred long-term employees over job hoppers. At the same time, he had no tolerance for nonperformers, and advised his managers on "separating the passengers without delay." A recurring theme is a happy work environment. "When people aren't having any fun, they seldom produce good work."

LEADERSHIP

"The best leaders are apt to be found among those executives who have a strong component of unorthodoxy in their characters. Instead of resisting innovation, they symbolize it--and companies seldom grow without innovation... But the American brand of democratic leadership doesn't work so well in Europe... That is one reason why it is usually wise for American corporations to appoint natives to lead their foreign subsidiaries."

Ogilvy observed that most corporate executives "are fine problem-solvers and decision-makers, but relatively few of them seem to be outstanding leaders. Some of them, far from inspiring their lieutenants, display a genius for castrating them... I do not believe that fear is a component in good leadership."

STRESS

"I was always scared sick--always a terrible worrywart when I was in my heyday at the agency... I should have been bursting with happiness and satisfaction with all that success. In fact, I was tortured with anxiety."

David Ogilvy wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man in 1963 and Ogilvy on Advertising in 1983. He died in 1999 at his home in Touffou, France.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
This book collects memos, letters and notes by Ogilvy which he was at O&M.
In some ways more interesting than Confessions of an Advertising Man, as the stuff was not written for publication.
Though the advertising business Ogilvy worked in - and in many ways created - no longer exists there are many excellent insights and wise advice in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2014
It's an interesting read about man-management and trying to get the most out of people and out of yourself. I found it particularly useful in regards to self-awareness and the ability to use eccentricity to your benefit. All in all a great book, and not just for the ad-man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2015
Big fan of david ogilvy and his company. I find all of his work fascinating including this one. If you want to think like an advertising giant, then give this book a shot. Highly recommend for smart and creative people.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2013
Ogilvy is one of the mavens of advertising whose story demonstrates that a person's intellect is developed from multiple experiences. There is much common sense that is revealed by his writings. He knew how to develop the people he hired in such a way that they developed their own methods of solving problems that was unique to the individual. They were allowed to develop solutions that resulted in both success and failure, either result resulting in an increase in that person's knowledge and self confidence. This was in contrast to the "top down management" of most corporations today which results is developing personnel that are indistinguishable because they were molded that way. It was a refreshing read in 1986, and only small portions are outdated today.
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on April 30, 2014
Nice but not much new stuff. If you've head the other, more traditional Ogilvy books, you've covered most of it.
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on April 12, 2014
A man who understood people matter as much as money. A joyful, quick and inspirational read on work, culture and leadership.
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on April 10, 2013
I liked this book because it portrays Oligvy's personality. It was good but not as good as Ogilvy on Advertising. This book was more of understanding how Ogilvy thinks rather than him teaching you his secret advertising tricks
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on October 19, 2014
I've read quite a few of Ogilvy's books and often find they all contain the same content. This one was completely fresh and packed full of unique content, which bring you closer to really knowing this advertising genius.
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