Ogilvy on Advertising

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Ogilvy on Advertising By David Ogilvy

Sarah Perry JOMC 170 Book Report July 18, 2006

2 About the Author David Ogilvy, born in 1911, was called by Time “the most sought after wizard in the business.” Ogilvy was one of the three key individuals in the Creative Revolution, along with Bill Bernbach and Leo Burnett. Before Ogilvy began advertising, he worked with research giant George Gallup for 3 years (David Ogilvy: History). Ogilvy came from the UK to start his agency Ogilvy & Mather. Starting with no clients in 1948, it has since grown into a worldwide enterprise (Ogilvy.com). As successful as Ogilvy was, he did it all with no college degree (Ogilvy 51). Some of Ogilvy’s most famous campaigns were the Hathaway shirts which ran for 25 years, Schweppes, and Rolls-Royce. Ogilvy wrote 3 books about advertising: Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963), Blood, Brains, and Beer: The Autobiography of David Ogilvy (1978) and Ogilvy on Advertising (1983). Ogilvy retired in 1971 and after his retirement, Ogilvy & Mather was purchased by mega agency WPP in 1989 for $864 million (Ogilvy.com). Ogilvy died in 1999 but his legacy in the advertising world will always be remembered.

3 Abstract of Ogilvy on Advertising In Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy writes about all aspects of advertising. He explains all the tips and rules he has learned about advertising through his own experience and through looking at data. He mainly writes about the aspects of advertising he knows from his own experience, particularly print advertising. In his book, he states that he does oversimplify some complicated subjects, making it easy for readers to understand. The book is broken down into 20 chapters, which all discuss different aspects related to advertising. The division of chapters makes the book easy to read. It does not read together like a whole book, but can be read just section by section depending on what you want to learn. First, Ogilvy examines how to produce advertisements that sell, jobs in advertising, how to run an ad agency and how to get clients. Then he moves on to talk about print advertising, making television commercials that sell, advertising corporations, how to advertise foreign travel, business-to-business advertising, and direct mail. Finally, he addresses research, marketing, and influential advertising people.

4 Summary of Ogilvy on Advertising In the beginning of his book, Ogilvy gives an overview of what he will be discussing in this book. He opens his book with this statement: “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product” (Ogilvy 7). He states that the only real major change advertising has gone since he has been in the business is the television. Other changes have been exaggerated such as the concept of brand names, which he popularized in 1953. It was not really new though; Claude Hopkins had described in 20 years before. Ogilvy first examines how to produce advertising that sells. He states that the wrong advertising can actually reduce the sales of a product. All advertising does not increase sales to some degree. He then gives the steps he has for producing successful advertising: 1. Do your homework. When he wrote the Rolls-Royce ad, the most famous of all automobile ads, he spent three weeks doing his homework. 2. Find out what kind of advertising the competitors have been doing for similar products, and with what success. 3. Research among consumers. Find out how they think about your kind of product and what promise would be most likely to make them buy your brand. 4. Decide how to position your product. He defines positioning as “what the product does, and who it is for.” (Ogilvy 12). He positioned Dove as a toilet bar for women with dry skin and still works 25 years later.

5 5. Decide the...
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