Advertising legend David Ogilvy is known as the “Father of Advertising.” In 1962, Time Magazine called him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” He found Ogilvy and Mather in 1948. Now Ogilvy and Mather is one of the leading companies in advertising, marketing and public relations in the world.
As more and more online marketers turn to paid advertising such as PPC, banner ads and solo ads to promote their products and services, it is vitally important to study David Ogilvy’s words of wisdom on advertising.
In this blog, I have collected my 10 favorite David Ogilvy quotes on advertising that can change your online business.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #1:David Ogilvy quotes on advertising
Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements. And they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the metropolitan opera.
It may sound harsh, but it is true that many online marketers know nothing about advertising and some even don’t know how to write. The good news is that success is a learnable skill. You can always learn from the best people in the advertising industry. So don’t be discouraged, keep reading . . .
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #2:
There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.
“How to differentiate your product and service from your competitors” is a question to every online marketer. David Ogilvy suggested that you need to build a sharply defined personality that tells the market who you are and what you do. In other words, you need to carefully define your unique selling proposition. Do you have a unique selling proposition for your product and service? If not, think about it.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #3:
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
Ogilvy once pointed out that the purpose of your headline is to get people to read your first line. The purpose of your opening line is to get people to read the next one. It is an on-going process to sharpen your skill of writing compelling headlines that sell. Have a marketer’s eye and start to collect headlines that catch your attention.
Here are 8 Proven Headline Formulas That Grab People’s Attention and 100 Great Classical Advertising Headlines Compiled by Victor Schwab.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #4:
The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.
Before people making a buying decision, they have many questions. For example, why they should buy from you, why your product is better than other similar products, why they should trust you, and why they should buy it now, etc.
If you can answer these questions in your ad, your ad is informative and persuasive. It will help people to make a buying decision quicker and easier because you have answered their questions in advance.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #5:
If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.
This has been proved to be effective by many top online marketers such as Eben Pagan and Jeff Walker. You should use your prospects’ language in your landing page headlines, sales letter, and emails, etc. If you know your prospects’ pain and dream even better than they do, they will buy from you for sure.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #6:
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.
People love to read stories. They like to know you as a real person who has your struggle, pain, success and failure, etc. One well-known example is Jared Fogle’s weight loss story which made millions of dollars for Subway. Start to collect your stories from today and use them in your ad campaigns.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #7:
Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.
As a common Chinese saying goes, “Don’t do to others what you don’t like to be done to you.” Tell the truth in your ad copy and only promote products that you believe in. This is a very important rule for people marketing affiliate products.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #8:
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.
I am sure everyone wants to be treated as a special individual. Pretending you are writing to one person helps you better connect with your readers.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #9:
Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.
Testing was used in advertising decades ago. The internet has made testing so easy that every online marketer can use it to improve advertising results. Google content experiment is a free tool for you to do split testing.
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising #10:
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.
If you get upset by other people stealing your advertising ideas or content, I hope you feel better at David Ogilvy’s words of wisdom. So focus your energy on creating more brilliant ideas and engaging content to build a solid online business.
Though David Ogilvy’s quotes on advertising are decades old, they are still relevant to today’s marketers. Join our mailing list for more articles like this.