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David Ogilvy Campaign Commandments

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David Ogilvy Branding Strategy Insider

Legendary ad man David Ogilvy left marketers with these eleven timeless campaign commandments:

1. What you say is more important than how you say it.

2. Unless your campaign is built around a great idea, it will flop.

3. Give the facts. The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.

4. You cannot bore people into buying. We make advertisements that people want to read. You can’t save souls in an empty church.

5. Be well-mannered, but don’t clown.

6. Make your advertising contemporary.

7. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they cannot write them.

8. If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling. Sterling Getchel’s famous advertisement for Plymouth (“Look at All Three”) appeared only once, and was succeeded by a series of inferior variations which were quickly forgotten. But the Sherwin Cody School of English ran the same advertisement (“Do You Make These Mistakes in English?”) for forty-two years, changing only the type face and the color of Mr. Cody’s beard.

9. Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your own family to read. 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. If you tell lies, or weasel, you do your client a disservice, you increase your load of guilt, and you fan the flames of public resentment against the whole business of advertising.

10. The image and the brand. It is the total personality of a brand rather than any trivial product difference which decides its ultimate position in the market.

11. Don’t be a copy cat. Nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else’s advertising. Imitation may be the’ ‘sincerest form of plagiarism,” but it is also the mark of an inferior person.

Become A Better Marketer. Join us for The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World, May 2-4, 2016 in San Diego, California. A fun, competitive-learning experience reserved for 50 marketing oriented leaders and professionals.

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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  1. Beyond | IT - March 31, 2008

    David Ogilvy Campaign Commandments: Branding Strategy Insider

    Timeless advice is always timely. This , from David Olgivy by way of Branding Strategy Insider

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