David Ogilvy Quotes

Who the Hell is David Ogilvy?

David Mackenzie Ogilvy was a businesman known as the Father of Advertising.

Born June 23, 1911
Died July 21, 1999

Books by David Ogilvy


Best 40 Quotes by David Ogilvy

“Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.”

David Ogilvy

“Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.”

David Ogilvy

“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.”

David Ogilvy

“Hard work never killed a man. Men die of boredom, psychological conflict, and disease. They do not die of hard work.”

David Ogilvy

“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.”

David Ogilvy

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

David Ogilvy

“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.”

David Ogilvy

“Sound an alarm! Advertising, not deals, builds brands.”

David Ogilvy

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

David Ogilvy

"Confessions of an Advertising Man" Quotes

“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?”

David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Advertising Man

“The consumer isn't a moron. She is your wife.”

David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Advertising Man

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Advertising Man

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.

David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Advertising Man

“Where people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work.”

David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Advertising Man

"Ogilvy on Advertising" Quotes

“Advertisements with long copy convey the impression that you have something important to say, whether people read the copy or not.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Any fool can write a bad advertisement, but it takes a genius to keep his hands off a good one.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Concentrate your time, your brains, and your advertising money on your successes. Back your winners, and abandon your losers.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Consumers still buy products whose advertising promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status and so on.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

Products by David Ogilvy

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“In my experience, committees can criticize, but they cannot create. Search the parks in all your cities You’ll find no statues of committees.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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? ”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Never allow two people to do a job which one could do.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Only amateurs use short copy.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“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.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“The headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“The most effective leader is the one who satisfies the psychological needs of his followers.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“Whatever you do, for goodness sake, don’t change the name of your corporation to initials.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising

“When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”

David Ogilvy
Ogilvy on Advertising