David Ogilvy was born in 1911 in West Horsley, England. Educated at Fettes, in Edinburgh, and Christ Church, Oxford, he started his career as a chef in the kitchens of the Hotel Majestic in Paris. He went on from Paris to sell cooking stoves in Scotland, and later emigrated to America to become Associate Director of Dr. George Gallup’s Audience Research Institute at Princeton.
Let this list of 55 quotations by the English businessman David Ogilvy lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational advertising, people, product sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
What are the best David Ogilvy quotes?
We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is David Ogilvy truly willing to say and leave for generations. Whether an inspirational quote or a motivational message about giving your best, we can all benefit from the wisdom, captured within these words.
The secret of long life is double careers.
One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.
The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
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.
We're all consumers. The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.
Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.
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.
Set exorbitant standards, and give your people hell when they don't live up to them. There is nothing so demoralizing as a boss who tolerates second rate work.
The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.
We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost – for support, not for illumination.
Readers travel so fast they don't stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines.
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.
Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.
Training should not be confined to trainees.
It should be a continuous process, and should include the entire professional staff of the agency. The more our people learn, the more useful they can be to our clients.
It takes uncommon guts to stick to one style in the face of all the pressures to 'come up with something new' every six months. It is tragically easy to be stampeded into change. But golden rewards await the advertiser who has the brains to create a coherent image, and the stability to stick with it over a long period.
We exist to build the business of our clients.
The recommendations we make to them should be the recommendations we would make if we owned their companies, without regard to our own short-term interest. This earns their respect, which is the greatest asset we can have.
You can never spend too much time thinking about, worrying about, caring about your people, because at the end of the day it's only people who matter. Nothing else.
I always said that mega-mergers were for megalomaniacs.
Nobody should be allowed to create general advertising until he has served his apprenticeship in direct-response
Never write more than two pages on any subject.
The way up the ladder is open to everybody.
We admire people who work hard, who are objective and thorough.
We detest office politicians, toadies, bullies, and pompous asses. We abhor ruthlessness. The way up our ladder is open to everybody. In promoting people to top jobs, we are influenced as much by their character as anything else.
No sale, no commission. No commission, no eat. That made an impression on me.
Compete with the immortals
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.
The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore.
..... Pretend to be vastly interested in any subject the prospects shows an interest in.
Nobody ever arrives at a very big idea through a conscious, rational thought process. It comes from your unconscious.
Most agencies run scared, most of the time.
. . .Frightened people are powerless to produce good advertising. . . . If I were aclient, I would do everything in my power to emancipate my agencies from fear, even to the extent of giving them long-term contracts.
I don't believe in tricky advertising, I don't believe in cute advertising, I don't believe in comic advertising. The people who perpetrate that kind of advertising never had to sell anything in their lives
I have noticed that agencies which are full of fun and ferment seem to create the best advertising. If you are not happy in advertising, for goodness sake find a job in which you would be happy. For as far as I know, we pass this way only once
You aren't advertising to a standing army;
you are advertising to a moving parade. Three million consumers get married every year. The advertisement which sold a refrigerator to those who got married last year will probably be just as successful with those who'll get married next year. An advertisement is just like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar and keep it sweeping.
Does advertising corrupt editors? Yes it does, but fewer editors than you may suppose... the vast majority of editors are incorruptible.
Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.
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.
Supposing you've got an acute appendicitis.
You've got to be operated on tonight. Would you like to have a surgeon who's read some books of anatomy and knows how to do that operation - or would you prefer to have a surgeon who refused to read all books about anatomy and relied on his own instinct?
Why should a manufacturer bet his money, perhaps the future of his company, on your instinct?
Shakespeare wrote his sonnets within a strict discipline, fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, rhyming in three quatrains and a couplet. Were his sonnets dull? Mozart wrote his sonatas within an equally rigid discipline - exposition, development, and recapitulation. Were they dull?.
Consumers don't think how they feel. They don't say what they think and they don't do what they say.
Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits.
What you learn is more important than what you earn.
I never write fewer than sixteen headlines for a single advertisement.
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.
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.
In most agencies, account executives outnumber the copywriters two to one.
If you were a dairy farmer, would you employ twice as many milkers as you had cows?
Advertising is the place where the selfish interests of the manufacturer coincide with the interests of society.
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.
Hard work never killed a man. Men die of boredom, psychological conflict, and disease. They do not die of hard work.
Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.
Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium.
When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.
Political advertising ought to be stopped.
It's the only really dishonest kind of advertising that's left. It's totally dishonest.
Big ideas are usually simple ideas.
The only marketers who know what the hell they're doing are those who have worked in sales
The line between pride in our work and neurotic obstinacy is a narrow one.
We make our recommendations clear. But we do not grudge our clients the right to the final say. It is their money.
Good copy can't be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living.
You've got to believe in the product.
If you, my fellow copywriters or art directors, want to win the award, devote your genius to making the cash register ring.
Good products can be sold by honest advertising.
If you don't think the product is good, you have no business to be advertising it.