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The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising
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The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
From the former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, the first biography of advertising maverick David Ogilvy

Famous for his colorful personality and formidable intellect, David Ogilvy left an indelible mark on the advertising world, transforming it into a dynamic industry full of passionate, creative individuals. This first-ever biography traces Ogilvy's remarkable life, from his s
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 6th 2009)
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May 29, 2012 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A decent solid biography of one of the masters of modern advertising. Ogilvy's books are great, but this answers a lot of the questions about his life, where he came from, his relationships with his family, his wives, his coworkers. It talks a lot about his castle in France, which is pretty awesome, and a lot more concretely about his management style and the details of how he ran his agency. If you care mainly about the creative work, and his philosophies on advertising, his own books are proba ...more
Sep 08, 2016 CP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ironically it was Ogilvy, a Scotsman who wrote the rules for American advertising in the 50's and 60's and with the exception of his views on TV commercials, I think many of his seminal works and `rules' are still as valid today.

But what of the man himself?

This book is a comprehensive bio by a former colleague. There is no doubt Ogilvy was an eccentric and cultivated his eccentricities. He used a bulldog paper clip on his tie, frequently wore a kilt for dramatic effect, was known for behaving ap
Apr 04, 2015 Toma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for better understanding who David Ogilvy was. It seems to be very well documented and is objective (pretty often showing facts that contradict what David has been saying).

However, the approach/timeline is rather unclear. Often you get to read about a moment of his life, then you move on, only to come back to the same moment in the next chapter. Otherwise fun to read and lots of things to learn.
Jul 13, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing my dig into advertising world. Reading through Ogilvie books was a logical next step. This book was ok in gaining some historical background. The book reads like a compilation of achievements and who is who in old ad world. Seems little thin about Ogilvie as a person (compared to other bios like Jobs).
Jan 04, 2010 Paul marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
BusinessWeek book of the year, biography of Ogilvy
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro David Ogilvy, de Kenneth Roman.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: marketing y ventas, publicidad y relaciones públicas, análisis de empresas y líderes de éxito.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro David Ogilvy, La biografía del inventor de la publicidad tal y como hoy la conocemos: David Ogilvy
Aug 01, 2016 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book much like David Ogilvys career in Advertising starts off like a whirlwind and is full of interesting stories and thoughts on advertising. And then like the second half of his career it's like a flickering candle that get's dimmer but refuses to go out. The first half of this book is well worth reading, the second half meanders and repeats without much point. The trick is knowing when to stop reading it. I didn't learn that trick and stuck with it to the very slow and boring end. A mist ...more
Andy Murray
May 23, 2015 Andy Murray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for anyone who is a student of advertising history or in the trade.

This is really about David Ogilvy the man vs. a book on advertising. An enjoyable read for anyone in the Ad business.
Benjamin Jozef de Leon
The book is a treasure trove of dos and donts for those aiming to set up a service oriented business.

It is even more valuable in the hands of an individual who wants to start their own ad agency.

The words that came out of David's mouth were brilliant and witty! I am glad Roman vividly shared them with us.
Pat Doyle
Feb 17, 2016 Pat Doyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. True. Amazing. The guy was brilliant, flawed and driven. If you like anything about the ad world, you'll like this book.
Asher Wen
May 05, 2013 Asher Wen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive look at the life of David Ogilvy and the decisions that he made, both good and bad. The book offers a balanced view of the man, and was not hesitant in talking about the shortcomings of the legend. At the same time, however, the book often furnishes too much details that are not as relevant to the man himself which I thought could be skipped to keep it more concise.

Altogether, it is a good outside view of the man himself from an author who has interacted and worked with the legend
Feb 27, 2012 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hodgepodge of anecdotes of a great ad man. However, I always felt dissociated from his quirkiness and his regal British upbringing. The author plays him out to be a god, with his eccentric behavior being something more of a whimsical attribute than an awkward need for constant attention. Some humanity would help me connect to this Mary Sue character the biographer has painted of an obviously flawed human being.
D.G. Chichester
A bit dry, but still full of interesting and "human" observations about the famous owner of the famous ad agency. having worked there for many years I found the combo of facts and frailties illuminating. It gave me a useful perspective - and in some cases admiration - for what was "luck" and what was accomplished. Probably more in the zone for folks in the industry or interested in marketing history.
Aug 13, 2016 Louisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Ogilvy is my spirit animal. I love you, I love you, I love you.
I did not know much about Ogilvy and I do not come from the advertising business. So this was super educational even though it bogged down in some places. This is an interesting bio and it includes some of Ogilvy's insight. But to really get the benefit of this man's wisdom you have to go read his own writing which I now am.
Michael Graber
This biography of David Ogilvy paints a vital portrait of an amazingly brilliant leader and creative soul. Well written, objective, and compassionate, The King of Madison Avenue charts the rise and fall of the Creative Revolution through one colorful life.
May 03, 2010 Michael_f rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for anyone who has ever considered getting into the commercial persuasion business. Its presented from a very personal point-of-view, offering a great perspective on the life of one of the worlds most prolific "mad-men".
Sep 22, 2015 T_One_Hundred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Seemingly objective, but would have liked it to be more so. The anecdote at the end was top rate, highlighting a lack elsewhere. More details of idiosyncrasies would surely have improved it. But nevertheless, a fine book.
Jul 16, 2010 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting look into the life of David Ogilvy. Focus spans from his childhood through the years he spent in his French country mansion prior to his death. Interesting, inspiring. If you like Mad Men, this book is a must read.
Laura Auricchio
I don't generally read books about advertising, but I heard the author, Ken Roman, speak last night and was taken with his understated sense of humor and flair for a good tale. So I'm looking forward to reading this.
Ankur Sharma
An engaging and objectively written biography by a person who was very close to Ogilvy. Tells you a great deal about Modern Advertising and the man who shaped it!
Fred Sampson
Jun 26, 2012 Fred Sampson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to learn more about one of the most famous, most influential, advertising leaders, and got what I wanted. Plenty of pithy quotes and food for thought.
Martin Bihl
Please see my review in Advertising Age:

and also see my review here:
Damla Kaan
Jan 02, 2013 Damla Kaan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Oct 13, 2016
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Oct 07, 2016
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“Bill Phillips, one of his successors as chairman, captured the spirit in his mantra: “Work hard. Play hard. Sleep fast.” 0 likes
“Ogilvy never wrote an advertisement in the office: “Too many interruptions.” He started by looking at every advertisement for competing products for the past 20 years: “Study the precedents.” Then he’d go to work on a headline. Finally, when he could no longer postpone the actual copy, he would start writing, usually throwing away the first 20 attempts. “If all else fails, I drink a half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces a gush of copy.” The next morning, he would get up early and edit the gush. “I am a lousy copywriter,” he would say, “but a good editor.” 0 likes
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