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David Ogilvy's Quotes

David Ogilvy profile photo

Born: 1911-06-23
Profession: Businessman
Nation: English
Biography of David Ogilvy

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The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.

Tags: Age, Another, Life

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

Tags: Dangerous, Enemy, Ignore

Good copy can't be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You've got to believe in the product.

Tags: Good, Living, Tongue

It is flagrantly dishonest for an advertising agent to urge consumers to buy a product which he would not allow his own wife to buy.

Tags: Agent, Dishonest, Wife

Like a midwife, I make my living bringing new babies into the world, except that mine are new advertising campaigns.

Tags: Except, Living, Mine

Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.

Tags: Improving, Stop, Testing

Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn't sell much of anything.

Tags: Percent, Sell

The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything.

Tags: Power, Sell, Selling

The headline is the 'ticket on the meat.' Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.

Tags: Flag, Meat, Readers

What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.

Tags: Buy, Consumers, Content

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, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.

Tags: Try, Trying, Write

The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.

Tags: Accept, Between, Life

I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.

Tags: Avoid, Awkward, Marketing

Can advertising foist an inferior product on the consumer? Bitter experience has taught me that it cannot. On those rare occasions when I have advertised products which consumer tests have found inferior to other products in the same field, the results have been disastrous.

Tags: Cannot, Experience, Found

I did not feel 'evil' when I wrote advertisements for Puerto Rico. They helped attract industry and tourists to a country which had been living on the edge of starvation for 400 years.

Tags: Country, Evil, Living

It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.

Tags: Big, Doubt, Night

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.

Tags: Body, Read, Times

The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.

Tags: Test, Vocabulary, Word

There are very few men of genius in advertising agencies. But we need all we can find. Almost without exception they are disagreeable. Don't destroy them. They lay golden eggs.

Tags: Few, Genius, Men

I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.

Tags: Best, Good, Life

It strikes me as bad manners for a magazine to accept one of my advertisements and then attack it editorially - like inviting a man to dinner then spitting in his eye.

Tags: Accept, Bad, Eye

Many manufacturers secretly question whether advertising really sells their product, but are vaguely afraid that their competitors might steal a march on them if they stopped.

Tags: Afraid, Question, Whether

Much of the messy advertising you see on television today is the product of committees. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them.

Tags: Create, Television, Today

Remove advertising, disable a person or firm from proclaiming its wares and their merits, and the whole of society and of the economy is transformed. The enemies of advertising are the enemies of freedom.

Tags: Freedom, Society, Whole

Some manufacturers illustrate their advertisements with abstract paintings. I would only do this if I wished to conceal from the reader what I was advertising.

Tags: Abstract, Paintings, Reader

There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.

Tags: Attract, Pages, Readers
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You now have to decide what 'image' you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.

Tags: Break, Means, Place

Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.

Tags: Business, Idiots, Try

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.

Tags: Become, Company, Shall

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

Tags: Best, Funny, Thinking

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

Tags: Old, While, Young

I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.

Tags: Rather, Research, Support

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

Tags: Attention, Drawing, Good

Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Tags: Business, Men, Women

If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.

Tags: Creative, Sell

Political advertising ought to be stopped. It's the only really dishonest kind of advertising that's left. It's totally dishonest.

Tags: Dishonest, Left, Political

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.

Tags: Art, Medium, Regard

Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.

Tags: Advertises, Evil

Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.

Tags: Aim, Ball, Company

The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife.

Tags: Business, She, Wife

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.

Tags: Aim, Leave, Routine

First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.

Tags: Creative, Leave, Yourself

Many people - and I think I am one of them - are more productive when they've had a little to drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I'm far better able to write.

Tags: Able, Far, Write

Does advertising corrupt editors? Yes it does, but fewer editors than you may suppose... the vast majority of editors are incorruptible.

Tags: Majority, May, Yes

Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.

Tags: Complex, Image, Thought

Advertising reflects the mores of society, but it does not influence them.

Tags: Influence, Reflects, Society

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

Tags: Business, Create, Creative

The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.

Tags: Excellence, Less, Pursuit

If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don't let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else's advertising.

Tags: Else, Good, Great

Leaders grasp nettles.

Tags: Grasp, Leaders, Leadership

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine.

Tags: Family, Tell, Wife

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.

Tags: Persuasive
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