David Ogilvy quotes
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David Ogilvy quotes
“Advertisements with long copy convey the impression that you have something important to say, whether people read the copy or not.”
“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”
“Any fool can write a bad advertisement, but it takes a genius to keep his hands off a good one.”
“As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?”
“Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process.”
“Concentrate your time, your brains, and your advertising money on your successes. Back your winners, and abandon your losers.”
“Consumers still buy products whose advertising promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status and so on.”
“Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.”
“Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.”
“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.”
“Hard work never killed a man. Men die of boredom, psychological conflict, and disease. They do not die of hard work.”
“However able they may be, ambitious people won’t stay in outfits which practice nepotism. This is one mistake I did not make; my son is in the real estate business, secure in the knowledge that he owes nothing of his success to his father.”
“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.”
“I don't know the rules of grammar. If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.”
“I saw the head chef at the Hotel Majestic fire a pastry cook because the poor devil could not get his brioches to rise straight. This ruthlessness made all the other chefs feel that they were working in the best kitchen in the world.”
“I used to start my questionnaires by asking, ‘Which would you rather hear on the radio tonight – Jack Benny or a Shakespeare play?’ If the respondent said Shakespeare, I knew he was a liar and broke off the interview.”
“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”
“In my experience, committees can criticize, but they cannot create. Search the parks in all your cities You’ll find no statues of committees.”
“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”
“It is a good idea to start the year by writing down exactly what you want to accomplish, and end the year by measuring how much you have accomplished.”
“It is usually assumed that marketers use scientific methods to determine the price of their products. Nothing could be further from the truth. In almost every case, the process of decision is one of guesswork.”
“It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image.”
“It will help you recognize a big idea if you ask yourself five questions:
1 Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
2 Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
3 Is it unique?
4 Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
5 Could it be used for 30 years? ”
“Never allow two people to do a job which one could do.”
“On average, helpful information is read by 75 per cent more people than copy which deals only with the product. This ad told how Rinso gets out stains. It was read and remembered.”
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
“Only amateurs use short copy.”
“Some copywriters write tricky headlines – double meanings, puns and other obscurities. This is counter-productive. In the average newspaper your headline has to compete with 350 others. Readers travel fast through this jungle. Your headline should telegraph what you want to say.”
“Sound an alarm! Advertising, not deals, builds brands.”
“Tell your prospective client what your weak points are, before he notices them. This will make you more credible when you boast about your strong points.”
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
“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 cannot grow without innovation. Great leaders almost always exude self-confidence.”
“The consumer isn't a moron. She is your wife.”
“The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn't even verbal. It requires 'a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious.' The majority of business men are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.”
“The headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit.”
“The most effective leader is the one who satisfies the psychological needs of his followers.”
“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.
“Whatever you do, for goodness sake, don’t change the name of your corporation to initials.”
“When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
“Where people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work.”