Ogilvy on Advertising

By the year 1983, David Ogilvy had already become a titan in the advertising industry.  He was one of the original mad men, starting his agency in New York City in 1948.  Within 35 years in the business, he had gained a tremendous amount of expertise, which he shared in his book Ogilvy on Advertising.  The book lived up to its broad title by covering a wide range of advertising topics from getting new clients to advertising for foreign travel.  This book served as a great ‘how to guide’ on becoming successful in the advertising industry.   It was also very interesting that he used real world experiences to back up each of his suggestions.  This made it clear to understand exactly how it relates to a specific advertising problem.

One chapter that was particularly relevant to my research class was Chapter 15, “18 Miracles of Research,” in which Ogilvy praises the power of research.  Many of the concepts and techniques are exactly the ones that we learned in class this semester.  One of the most important sentences in the book, according to Ogilvy reads, “Advertising which promises no benefit to the consumer does not sell, yet the majority of campaigns contain no promise whatsoever.”  He goes on to claim that this promise of benefit to the consumer is the most valuable thing that research can contribute to the advertising process. This is exactly why the key benefits were heavily stress throughout each of our projects this semester.  In this chapter he also gives suggestions on projective techniques that are effective in research such as the prize pad test.  These are some of the same projective techniques we used in our IDI’s and focus groups.

Overall, I think this book was a very good read and would definitely recommend it to anyone pursing a career in advertising. The book lays out the proper way to go about each aspect of the business in very simple language and provides his actual industry experiences to back up his advice.  It also solidified what I had learned this semester by providing and fresh perspective on the same valuable information about the advertising industry.

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