Introduction to the organization.
Ogilvy was founded in 1948 by British ad pioneer David Ogilvy who now stands as a legend within the advertising world. David Ogilvy "believed it to be the right and duty of a wise and benevolent elite to civilize the world." In 1936, David got an internship at the London ad agency Mather & Crowley, which sent David abroad to study American advertising techniques for one year. He returned from his year abroad with extensive knowledge about American advertising techniques. In 1948, after being out of advertising for ten years, Ogilvy started his own agency. His brother Francis financially assisted him. S. H. Benson Ltd., another London shop, also invested $45,000, but insisted that Ogilvy hire someone who knew how to run an agency. Ogilvy hired Anderson Hewitt away from J. Walter Thompson to be president, and appointed himself vice president in charge of research. The business opened as Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather (HOB&M). The beginnings of Ogilvy & Mather
Opening a new advertising agency in 1948 seemed good timing. The Depression and World War II had driven all but the largest, well-established, advertising firms out of business and had discouraged attempts by newcomers to break into the market. However, with the war over and the American economy expanding with unprecedented vigour, and a greater public awareness of the media and its influence, advertising became a necessary element in any business practice. The potential for growth was almost limitless. Still, the agency of HOB&M did not become successful overnight. Competing with such long-standing industry leaders as J. Walter Thompson, Young & Rubicam, Leo Burnett, and BBDO was difficult. HOB&M moved forward steadily. In 1951, a small shirt maker, C. F. Hathaway, came asking for help. This led to the "man with the black eye patch" campaign, arguably one of Ogilvy's most famous that ran for 25 years. Quickly after came the Schweppes Co., a British maker of soda water and other mixer beverages. By 1952, David Ogilvy was becoming incredibly well known. However, trouble was brewing at the agency. Despite his role as Mr. Ogilvy's boss, Anderson Hewitt was not getting noticed at all. By 1953, Anderson was gone, and HOB&M had become Ogilvy, Benson & Mather. Soon after, the third of Mr. Ogilvy's defining advertising moments came along. With a meagre budget of $50,000, Rolls-Royce appealed to Ogilvy in the same low-profit, high-prestige way that Schweppes and Hathaway had. The Rolls-Royce ad ("At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.") became the paradigm for all subsequent automobile advertisements. In the short run, these three ads barely paid for themselves; the accounts were small. However, over the long term, the Hathaway, Schweppes, and Rolls-Royce ads demonstrated the 'Ogilvy Style' and attracted a number of new clients. Back to top
Expansion, Innovation and Diversification :
In 1955 O&M helped launching Unilever's Dove as '1/4 moisturizing cream'. In 1960, Shell Oil started an account, increasing O&M's revenues by almost 50%. Later, accounts were also secured from General foods, Bristol-Myers, and Lever Brothers, to name just a few. By 1962 the agency's billings had increased dramatically, and Ogilvy had established himself as an innovator in the business. Indeed, the 1960's and early 1970's marked a period of expansion and innovation. In 1964 Ogilvy, Benson & Mather Inc. of New York merged with Mather & Crowther Ltd. of London to become Ogilvy & Mather International. In 1966 O&M became the first ad agency to go public on both the London and New York stock exchanges. During the same period O&M also became more diverse in its range of advertising. It developed campaigns for large corporations, non-profit organizations (e.g., the World Wildlife Fund), whole nations...