“I would like to make it mandatory that everyone in advertising read David Ogilvy’s first book, Confessions of an Advertising Man at least once a year.” George Parker commented that in Business Insider. Media Week also evaluated this book as the “required reading for anyone in business”. In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy not only tells legendary stories about his successful career, comprehensively introduces the advertising industry, but also elaborates his concepts, tactics, and techniques that were generated based on his estimable experience and knowledge by using a pithy, lively and humorous writing.
David Ogilvy is considered as an advertising genius, and regarded as the father of modern advertising. He founded the best known agency Ogilvy & Mather, at the age of 37, and created a lot of the most memorable advertising campaigns that were published all over the world. Confessions of an Advertising Man is the distillation of all accomplishment he got in his career. It contains eleven sections with self-explanatory titles, just like a well-organized text book or professional manual to tell the reader how to create a good ad, manage an ad agency, deal with your client, and achieve the success on business. Even this book was written during Ogilvy’s summer vacation in 1962, his concepts “are as valid today as there were in generally,” as he said in the introduction of this book.
In this book, Ogilvy uses lots of real cases for the examples to expound his experience that makes the book be more convincing. And his well logical points and rules are very practical for people doing advertising. Since Ogilvy started his career in research, he emphasized the importance of research many times in this book. In the chapter five “How to Build Great Campaigns”, he says that “The rules I postulate do not present my personal opinions; they are the quintessence of what I have learned from research.” And “The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST” in chapter four. He uses a conclusion of the research that was conducted by Dr. Frank Barron at the University of California’s Institute of Personality Assessment to define the creative people that “are especially observant, and they value accurate observation (telling themselves the truth) more than other people do.” The observing and test things he talks about all match to what I learned from my advertising research classes. However, the advertising industry developed much rapidly even than Ogilvy’s imagine. The television was an emerging area at 1960s, but today the internet is about to replace the vital stance of TV used to be, and the interactive media is infiltrating into people’s life more and more. Maybe we need move forward with the progress of the world, but Ogilvy’s theories are still most worthy to learn.
By now, Confessions of an Advertising Man has been translated into more than twenty languages and sold out more than 1,500,000 copies around the globe. It is the essential guide to modern advertising and the most classic work in the worldwide adverting industry with no doubt.