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Ogilvy on Advertising Paperback – March 12, 1985
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A candid and indispensable primer on all aspects of advertising from the man Time has called "the most sought after wizard in the business." 223 photos.
About the Author
DAVID OGILVY is the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the top ten advertising agencies in the world. Mr. Ogilvy lives at the Chateau de Touffou in Bonnes, France.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
"It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man ... The creative man with an insight into human nature, with the artistry to touch and move people will succeed. Without them he will fail."
Ogilvy had insight in spades, practical experience, common sense, a passion for research as well as creativity, and above all, a relentless focus on selling. Pick any few paragraphs at random and all those qualities will shine through. Among the many ideas I found really helpful--
1. Branding means giving your product personality. (For example, the man in the Hathaway shirt wore an eyepatch.)
2. Facts sell better than hype.
3. The principles of direct response apply to all forms of advertising.
4. Creativity is worthless unless it sells.
5. Copywriting is the heart of advertising.
6. Use the brand name in your headline. Otherwise 80% of readers may never see it.
7. Long copy sells.
8. Analogies, big words, and naming the competitor confuse people.
9. Pricing cannot be determined scientifically.
10. Excellent graphic design is simple graphic design.
11. Corporate advertising is worthwhile.
12. Always include a promise in your headline.
13. The era of the blockbuster brand is ending. (Ogivly detected the "Long Tail" 20 years before most of us!)
14. According to Ogivly, "...advertising is no more and no less than a reasonably efficient way to sell."
But this summary doesn't do the book justice. He makes solid points nonstop. Not surprising for a master copywriter and former door-to-door salesman, he writes in plain English. He offers "big picture" reflections on the advertising industry, including an impassioned defense of advertising against charges of hucksterism. He offers detailed tips that are just as important, mainly on print advertising, direct response, and dealing with clients.
Educational, authoritative, fun to read. A+