David Ogilvy’s secret weapon

This seven-minute gem of a video comes from ‘the pope of advertising’, David Ogilvy, filmed 40 years ago in India.

Written by
SOFII
Added
April 02, 2012

It’s a grainy but clear and concise summary of what Ogilvy rather heretically believed back then to be the single most important thing to know about advertising – the staggering difference between the two distinct and separate worlds of direct response and general advertising. Fortunately for us, his radical views along with his signature red braces (suspenders) were recorded for a conference he couldn’t attend but didn’t want to miss. So his message was preserved and now it’s here, for SOFII’s readers.

In extolling the benefits and learning potential of direct response Ogilvy can barely disguise his contempt for practitioners of general, unmeasured advertising, who he once described as, ‘airheads’ who prefer creating pretty pictures to generating results.

‘They know almost nothing for sure because they cannot measure the results of their advertising. They worship at the altar of creativity, which really means originality, the most dangerous word in the advertiser’s lexicon.’

After summarising how much more direct marketers know about what works and what doesn’t when compared to their better paid above-the-line counterparts, he says to the direct marketers, ‘ladies and gentlemen, I envy you’.

SOFII urges its readers to heed these wise words from a self-confessed voice in the wilderness now confirmed as a prophet. Watch, listen and learn.

Forty years later, what Ogilvy predicted has come to pass in ways he could never have foreseen. Though, the airheads are still with us and still largely unconvinced, which leaves all the more room for the rest of us to succeed. This gem is on youTube now.

SOFII thanks the great Copyblogger site for the prompt to this rich content.

About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

Recent Articles

From the Mythsmashers: ‘Fundraising isn’t a serious profession’ - smashing that myth.

‘To call us a not for profit is a disservice and to say fundraising isn’t a real job, is simply not true.’ From the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s exceptional Mythsmashers session comes this impassioned deflation of that most pernicious of myths - that fundraising isn’t a profession.

Read more

The BADASSforGOOD podcast. Episodes six to ten.‘I might just ruffle a few feathers’

Mr Badass is back! We bring you five more short, sharp and provocative podcasts from R. Trent Thompson that will transform how you think about your non-profit brand and the impact it makes.

Read more

How celebs use social media for fundraising

Three campaigns show fundraisers can learn from how celebrities use social media. From IWITOT London 2019.

Read more

George Smith: the art of creative fundraising - ‘Give us your money – or the panda gets it!’

In 1992, George Smith predicted a sea change in the development of the fundraising profession, with deference and royal reverence to be a thing of the past. Was he right? Read his reasoning and decide for yourself.

Read more

SOFII’s September must-reads

SOFII heroes Pamela Grow and Craig Linton have trawled the Internet to pick out the finest fundraising fruits of September.

Read more

Also in Categories