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. See also SOFII’s profile of Ogilvy, here.

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

Celebrating donor recognition through history and exploring why it works

Join Marina Jones as she shares a selection of her favourite examples of donor recognition. Dating back to mediaeval times, this is a wonderful (and sometimes weird) collection of ways that donors have been recognised for their gifts. 

Read more

Irregularity – is it the future of regular giving?

Recruiting regular donors, increasing engagement and reducing attrition are three things that feature in plenty of fundraising strategies. They remain a focus for good reason – all fundraisers want to help their cause with the reliable funds that a base of committed supporters brings. But what if the future of regular giving was less ‘regular’ and more ‘irregular’? 

Read more

Director*, SOFII – Freelance

We are looking to recruit a passionate individual to a newly created role. We need someone who can help SOFII reach even more fundraisers around the world, inspiring them to be even better at their jobs so the causes they support can deliver even greater impact. Could you the the person we are looking for? Read on to find out more!

Read more

Charity e-commerce – learning from the best online shops in the sector

Fundraising, marketing and digital teams need to work together to improve charity e-commerce and offer a better user experience. Matt Smith shares examples from charities who are leading the way – delivering great customer support and ongoing communication. Read on to find out how you can turn a ‘transaction’ into a more meaningful supporter experience.

Read more

Everything IWITOT

This is your one-stop shop for all the latest on SOFII’s I Wish I’d Thought of That (IWITOT). If you want to attend an event, become a speaker, host your own IWITOT or revisit a past event – it is all right here.

Read more

Also in Categories



Tags