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Ogilvy on Advertising

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  3,701 ratings  ·  132 reviews
A candid and indispensable primer on all aspects of advertising from the man Time has called "the most sought after wizard in the business". 223 photos.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 12th 1985 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Ogilvy on Advertising by David OgilvyD&AD by D&ADSorry for the lobsters by Neil FrenchHey, Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke SullivanConfessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
Advertising
1st out of 22 books — 17 voters
Ogilvy on Advertising by David OgilvyMade to Stick by Chip HeathConfessions of an Advertising Man by David OgilvyThe Advertising Concept Book by Pete BarryPick Me by Nancy Vonk
Advertising Suggested Reading List
1st out of 36 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

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Trang Ngo
What I have learnt from Ogilvy on Advertising

- black letter on white background!!! the reverse does not work

- do research on what the audience wants to see, do not just base on your preference

- if it does not sell, it isn’t creative

- order of print ad: picture, headlines, subheadlines, words (that’s what the audience's mind wants)

- there are many advertising agencies because one can not work for its clients’ competitors

- long-term contract with clients is crucial to the business

- keep track of t
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Stephanie W
If you've ever been interested in working at an ad agency, if you've ever worked at an ad agency, or if you ever had a strong affinity for the Mastercard Priceless (McCann Erickson) or the Got Milk campaign (Goodby Silverstein), you must read this book. Not only does David Ogilvy give great advice from inside the business, but he presents his wonderfully written copy with the best parts of a vintage Life magazine (the pictures). Ogilvy clearly states the best steps for breaking into the business ...more
Jen
I've had this book in my shelves for a couple years and finally sat down to begin reading it recently. And I'm so, so, soooo mad at myself because I wish I had read this immediately when I first picked it up!

Although it was written decades ago and contains information that will be construed as outdated (especially since the look of advertising has definitely changed substantially), a lot of it is still sound and relevant. I don't work in advertising, but I was thinking of a ton of areas where th
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Ben
Nov 02, 2007 Ben rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Advertisers and Designers
If you want to have ANYTHING to do with advertising, you must read this book. If you want to have ANYTHING to do with graphic design, you must have something to do with advertising...
Erika
Apr 13, 2013 Erika rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Erika by: Rory Hodgson
Ogilvy is brilliant. Even with the advent of the internet, the core of advertising remains the same because basic human motives remain the same, and what he has to say is still very relevant.

While the rest of the book is packed with time-honored strategies and tips, his talent is especially evident in the chapter dedicated to past advertising giants.

This might seem like a fluff chapter to those people just looking to absorb facts, but it is far more valuable – he is showing you how to communica
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Partha
Sep 14, 2007 Partha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: insights on advertising from the legend
Shelves: advertising
David Ogilvy is a class apart in advertising..

“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” who can ever forget this ad that made David Ogilvy famous..

the story goes that rolls royce gave the campaign brief as 'create an ad that people would read and never forget..' and with a very tight budget..

Ogilvy's stress on research was at the forefront of the campaign..
Very few professionals in the advertising laid so much stress on research and data to be
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Stefan Vali
Refreshing. Good to see a realistic perspective on what creativity is and isn't in the advertising context.
Leonidas Kaplan
David Ogilvy on Advertising

This dude is one of the inspirations for the show 'Mad Men'. 'Mad Men' was a show about the advertising geniuses who had offices on Madison Avenue in New York city.

Nonetheless, this book isn't a fictional tale, but rather, some of the most indepth knowledge learned from over 40 years of being in the 'Advertising business' circa 1940-1983 (I believe).

The main focus of this book? How to reach your audience and SELL!
Here are some tips from Ogilvy on big ideas:
"
1. Did it
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David
There are 5-7 books on my desk at work at any given time. This book has NEVER left my desk.

It blows me away how NOT full of crap this book is. I've read dozens of books on marketing / advertising and would be lucky to grasp a couple of useful nuggets from each one. Not so with this book. David lays out a complete guide for how to plan an advertising campaign - start to finish.

Things that make this book so valuable:


- Tons of actual ads, with performance data to boot
- topics broken down logical
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Cippi
wanna know basic knowledge of 'evilish' advertising? this is your bible, written by lord of advertising, spiced-up with outstanding award-winning ads samples. it's a gift from a buddy Dedeng, he got it from Mac909
Kimee
A great introduction to good copywriting, advertising, and communication in general. Though, I must say, this is the thought that lingers longest:

Why do we still have billboards?
Ahu
Considered as a holy book when we were freshmen at college!a lot has changed but still an inspiring one
Nigel Temple
David Ogilvy thought deeply about advertising and produced great results for his clients.
Leanne Wood
An older book that is still very relevant!
matt.geek.nz
I really enjoyed this. David Ogilvy lays out his wisdom on all aspects of the advertising industry: how to write an ad, how to run an agency, how the industry works, and how to get a job in it. His focus is on print, and to a lesser degree television, and there is a heavier emphasis on copy than on art direction, which suits me just fine. And he loves research: he's less interested in fads and fashions than he is in what is actually proven to work.

Is this stuff still relevant in the internet ag
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Ben Z.
This is a worthy read for anyone in advertising, marketing, or any creative services field.

Ogilvy was an innovator of modern advertising and his pragmatic approach to creating great ads, running an agency, winning and keeping clients, going global, etc. etc. still hold true almost 30 years after this book was first published.

As I read the book I kept wondering what Ogilvy would have thought of the Internet (or desktop publishing for that matter). As an industry pioneer he probably would have s
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Jeremy
Jan 27, 2014 Jeremy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Business Owners, Marketers
Shelves: business, psychology
One of the best advertising books, and a natural follow-up to Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. I recommend both of these books for anyone responsible for getting the word out for an organization.

Human psychology hasn't changed much, so the basics still work. Ogilvy is a master of them.

My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising
Ps Chua
Dec 16, 2014 Ps Chua rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young advertisers/marketers
A must-read book for young, fresh advertisers/marketers to learn everything about the world of advertising. It covers almost all aspects and fields of advertising except the millennial ones i.e. Digital and Social Advertising.

Nevertheless, it provides good context, insights and further reading list to learn more about the world of advertising. In general, the whole world of advertising works on several proven principles that are shared in this book, hence making it a must-read even if you are i
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Michael Conway
Jan 24, 2015 Michael Conway rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Advertising Wanna Be's
It was very influential when I first read it at 24 years old. I've recently read it again and though I still find it exceptional, I must admit that I've become more of a Luke Sullivan fan over the years. Give "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This" a try. The opening chapter when Snuggles the Fabric Softener bear gets assasinated is completely worth the price of admission.
Cait
I'm sure that when this book was published in 1989, it was at the height of it's time. So much has changed since then, including, but not limited to: the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the Internet, Geo-targeting, technology, mobile revolution, etc.

Regardless, this is still a great read for any strategic marketing professional.
David Bai
Great fundamentals and introduction to advertising and copywriting. There is a mix of huge pictures and clear passages which makes for an easy read, though that doesn't make the lessons any less important.
Tse Mann
Definitely a good book if your planning to be or already in the ad business. The book offers practical advice on the process of planning and execution ad campaigns worth a read.
Scott
Equal parts entertaining and thought provoking...or at the very least makes you think about how you write and communicate. Also made me want to drink scotch in the office at 11am.
Vee
A lot has changed since he ruled the advertising world, but the classic building blocks remain timeless.
Worth a place on the bookshelf of anyone in the industry.
Sandeep Thoniparambil
The world of advertising has become a very dynamic creative and challenging ....i hope this is a good option for those who want more information regarding ads
Wally Mountz
Good review of basic principles and an interesting read on his personal stories. I didn't get too much out of this, however the examples were good.
Aaron Gertler
David Ogilvy is one of the great marketing geniuses of the 20th century, and he also built a company that remains successful to this day. His secret? Using lots of numbers to test folk wisdom. Here, he shares those numbers with you and explains why people who say otherwise are wrong. Then he shows you a picture of the castle he owns in Scotland, in case you needed extra proof.

This gets "second-best" after Abraham because the idea density is lower and because there are many digressive stories som
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Ili
Being of Mass Comm background, THIS book clarified my doubts and fears as it strengthens and solidifies my beliefs in advertising. Thoroughly written (well obviously!) it magnifies and pinpoints my inner advertiser in the right direction. All this while, I understood vaguely what advertising really is about and this book spotlighted the whole idea. Perhaps there are some part less relevant to what's current but almost everything else is relatable and recyclable. Old school is cool!

A good read fo
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Nurkastelia A.
Jul 05, 2008 Nurkastelia A. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody! i mean, really, EVERYBODY!
Recommended to Nurkastelia by: advertising professor
Shelves: must-read
Oh, i love this book so much for a number of reasons:
1. Most of the pages are in color. so we can see those vintage ads Ogilvy's done.
2. The pages are in glossy. That's always a plus.
3. This man can REALLY sell anything, imho. i love his writings in this book. even though it's supposed to teach us a lot oabout advertising, the tone is conversational... as if it's a monologue from my grandpa or something.
4. He's fair. If he doesn't like an ad that he did, he'd tell you exactly that. and if he lov
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Fred
"...works to beat the band on a peppercorn budget" is a quote from david ogilvy in this book. he's talking about an ad campaign that was effective and didn't cost much to produce, but see how much more boring it was when i described it?

this is far and away the best-written, most entertaining ad industry book out there. pretty much every page has something hilarious and quotable on it. but just a few words of caution: if you work in advertising, please don't attempt to follow any of the advice in
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Effectivness of Ogilvy on Advertising 3 26 Jul 06, 2012 12:09PM  
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  • Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning
  • Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World's Best for Brands in the 21st Century
  • The Brand Gap
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  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service Into a World-Class Brand
  • Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders
  • Creative Advertising: Ideas and Techniques from the World's Best Campaigns
  • The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells
  • D&AD: The Copy Book
  • Pick Me: Breaking Into Advertising and Staying There
  • Lovemarks
  • How to Write a Good Advertisement
  • The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era
  • Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition
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David Mackenzie Ogilvy was born in West Horsley, England, on June 23, 1911. He was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh and at Christ Church, Oxford (although he didn't graduate).
david ogilvy After Oxford, Ogilvy went to Paris, where he worked in the kitchen of the Hotel Majestic. He learned discipline, management - and when to move on: "If I stayed at the Majestic I would have faced years of s
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More about David Ogilvy...
Confessions of an Advertising Man The Unpublished David Ogilvy An Autobiography The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappyness The Little Red Book Analog Pages About A Digital World

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