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David Ogilvy Documentary - Success Story

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Published on Dec 5, 2011

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My name is Evan Carmichael and I believe that the fastest and most effective way to build a business is to model the strategies of people who have already done what you're trying to do. I call it Modeling the Masters. My last post with over 30 comments was 3 Success Tips from Ted Turner.

Today we're going to look at how a young man who had never written an advertisement in his life started an advertising agency with only $6,000 to his name and went on to become one of the most sought after marketers in the world. This is the story of advertising legend David Ogilvy and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success.

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"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals." - David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy (June 23, 1911--July 21, 1999) was the founder of Ogilvy & Mather and is known as the "father of advertising." He took the long road to success working as a hotel chef, a British Intelligence officer, and a traveling salesman selling kitchen stoves door to door. He had success in sales and thought he could help other companies improve their marketing efforts so he started his own advertising agency in 1949. He was 38 years old, had never written an advertisement in his life and only had $6,000 to his name, but he had a big dream and wanted to see it through.

Attracting clients was a challenge in the beginning but he focused on getting results for his clients and he firmly believed that the best way to get new clients was to do outstanding work for his existing clients. The few clients he was able to get loved his approach. They rewarded him with larger budgets and referrals to other potential accounts. After building up his business in New York he decided to merge with the London based agency Mather & Crowther in 1965. It gave his firm an international reach and the next year Ogilvy & Mather was the one of the first advertising agencies to go public.

His company was acquired in 1989 for $864 million after Ogilvy built up a reputation for being "the most sought-after wizard in the advertising industry" according to TIME magazine. He was elected to the U.S. Advertising Hall of Fame in 1977and was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame. His legacy continues to leave a mark on everyone in the advertising world and his story provides lessons in marketing that we can all learn from.

Action Item #1: Get Your Clients Results
Action Item #2: Test, Test, Test
Action Item #3: Hire Great People

True Story

In his ads, Ogilvy would often make the company logo twice the size -- "a good thing to do because most advertisements are deficient in brand identification." He would also show his client's faces "because the public is more interested in personalities than in corporations." Other Ogilvy techniques included studying and imitating graphics used by editors, since "it has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement, and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look and read." He would place photographs at the top of his ads, given that "people have a habit of scanning downwards," and also learned that there is little value in saying something without illustrating it because "the viewer immediately forgets it."

More Quotes

"The most important decision is how to position your product."

"The psychiatrists say that everybody should have a hobby. The hobby I recommend is advertising."

"Raise your sights! Blaze new trails!! Compete with the immortals!!!"

What Do You Think?

What do you do to get results for your clients? How do you test your marketing concepts? What part of David Ogilvy's message impacted you the most? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!

Evan Carmichael

To learn more check out my list of David Ogilvy articles at http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-... or my website, http://EvanCarmichael.com.

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