David Ogilvy Quotes

40 Amazing David Ogilvy Quotes of all Time

David Ogilvy, marketing visionary and creative genius, founder of Ogilvy and Mather and also listed on ABC’s hit TV show Mad Men, represents the beginning of a trade that was not only expected in the classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, but has come to describe the industry as we know it in several respects. Moreover, Ogilvy is one of the university dropouts who demonstrate that it is completely feasible to excel and also to define a business without a degree in the making.

He was born in West Horsley, England, on June 23, 1911. He wanted to move to the United States, to New York in particular. There he became a legend of copy-writing, making hundreds of powerful and successful headlines that hold their influence to this day.

The most popular publicist is David Ogilvy, and his teachings are still as important today as they were when he opened the doors of his Ogilvy & Mather agency in 1948. To the point of being able to conclude with that quotation, he knew the essence of the role of marketing and advertising:

Ogilvy is best remembered for his advertisement work while working as the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, also referred to as the “Original Mad Man,” and “The Father of Advertising.” He has helped develop highly successful advertisements for clients such as Dove, Shell, and Rolls-Royce, in addition to creating a multibillion-dollar business.

David Ogilvy Quotes

Analyzing Some of The Best David Ogilvy Quotes  

Advertising Is Not An Art Form, It’s A Medium For Information, A Message For A Single Purpose: To Sell.

I don’t want you to suggest that you find it ‘creative’ when I write a commercial. I want you to find it so compelling that you buy the stuff.

This quote is from his “Ogilvy on Advertisement” novel, which is outstanding by the way, and I recommend reading it. You can download a preview of it here if you’re involved.

Although “Ogilvy on Advertisement” was published in 1983, (yes, I know, it sounds almost ancient and so without the world wide web!) Don’t even imagine for a second that even everything he brought to the advertising environment is no further utilized. In marketing, his teachings are eternal, despite the modern dynamics of the Social Media age.

In modern advertising, blog headlines, internet advertisement, e-commerce, and YouTube networks, the same “Ogilvian” tactics that succeeded in the 70s can be used today. They claim, for whatever reason, that the thoughts of geniuses surpass time.

These quotes from David Ogilvy are reminders of working immutable values and a glimpse into a man’s mind who is commonly considered the “father of advertising.

One of the David Ogilvy quotes says:

“Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from the sole purpose of advertising.”

The purpose of making advertising is not to show who is more intelligent or clever. Nor to show who with the best play on words will come up with the term. He despised when his workers referred to themselves as “creative,” Ogilvy says in his book.

As David Ogilvy puts it quite clearly, the key point of this commandment: if you want customers to purchase your product, you have to describe it as briefly and simply as possible: what you sell, and how their lives can be changed by purchasing your product.

People don’t have a lot of time to sit and learn, but you can do that if you think you can surprise them with your vocabulary and imagination, but never at the cost of selling.

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.”

Think high, though! Although there is still much to be said for setting modest aspirations of what you can do with a blog, having huge dreams and striving to make them a reality is not false.

It may be a bit of a juggling act, but if you target a little higher, you might just find yourself accomplishing stuff that you may not have considered possible for your blog.

Defining your position clearly: what and for who?

Positioning is a hilarious word, and there is a different meaning of the Father of Ads.

The commercial dad asks: what is the product doing and who is it for?

Women do have dry skin several years later, and Dove is there to fix the problem. The only distinction now and then between Dove women is that there are plenty of other items to help with the same issue now. Furthermore,

Dove, however, continues to stand out from its rivals because it provides an added benefit, a guarantee that most can not: it will not only moisturize the face but when you buy it, you will help the battle against the unattainable stereotype suggested by the media to foster a more positive picture of the modern woman. You are going to celebrate our “flaws” (wrinkles, cellulite, curves, gray hair, freckles, etc.).

Know that, aside from a detailed analysis of the target audience, to gain successful positioning for the brand and product,

“I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.”

In all times and spaces where the audience is found, it is important to have a good advertising strategy available. Today, social networks are an important tool that helps us to get closer to our prospective clients.

“Advertisers Who Ignore Research Are As Dangerous As Generals Who Ignore The Signs Of The Enemy. “

You won’t have a chance in hell to create ads that are popular and that sell if you don’t start doing your homework. It’s, as Ogilvy notes, the most boring part, but it’s mandatory. You would do so. Under George Gallup, founder of Gallup Poll, an organization that conducts market polling and surveys, Ogilvy served for years. Ogilvy’s Commandment #4 is based on

Under George Gallup, founder of Gallup Poll, an organization that conducts market polling and surveys, Ogilvy served for years. Ogilvy’s Commandment #4 is based on the fact that

One of the effective marketing rules for David Ogilvy is based around the idea that if you don’t know who you’re writing for, then you’re just going to fake it because that’s going to contribute to more issues than you can think.

When you neglect the following, you’ll never be able to write a successful copy:

For whom you write

How the person thinks

What is required by that person?

David Ogilvy Quotes

“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.”

When writing and talking, an important lesson to bear in mind is: Don’t underestimate the user. Don’t think “dumb” of your crowd, respect it as if it were your mom.

What is that meant to mean? You’ll have to respect the customers if you want to make money in marketing. Consumers are bombarded by ads every day that, in many ways, verge on the brink of ridicule: it appears that marketers just want to demonstrate how imaginative, funny, or smart they are, totally missing the idea that a commercial needs to offer important facts to seduce the audience.

“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.”

When you see your content being scraped into another site or your intellectual property being used without permission by anyone, there’s nothing more heartbreaking for a novice blogger.

From time to time, I do get irritated about this, but while hundreds of places republishing my work every day without approval and/or credit, there is one thing I’ve found. Currently, nobody appears to read such posts.

Special and valuable knowledge is the secret to good blogging. People who regurgitate what you write or even repost it word for word, either inevitably give up (because no one reads it) or get found out (and stop in disgrace).

Though there are occasions that I have tracked after those that copy my stuff overtly without credit (there is a line), I find it way more valuable to invest my time making more cool content than regulating how others utilize what I have already created.

Concentrate more of the time on making and being the best you can be. This would affect the organization more favorably than the unpleasant activities of keeping spammers and criminals from taking your old ideas.

  • “If It Doesn’t Sell, It Isn’t Creative.” 

The heart of ads is struck by this conditional comment. You need to stand out to successfully sell your product. Extensive research, refining, and originality are part of this image. For related goods, you can’t just use a similar approach, you need to look outside the box. Creativity is the only way to make your idea stand out in a sea of duplicate offerings.

  • “The Best Ideas Come As Jokes. Make Your Thinking As Funny As Possible.”

Humor lasts longer with individuals than virtually any other form of advertisement. A concept at its outset that seems ludicrous may turn out to be an outstanding campaign. There’s no sense of so many out there while brainstorming. Take chances, make jokes, and do something different.

  • “A Good Advertisement Is One Which Sells The Product Without Drawing Attention To Itself.”

Although without attracting attention, advertising cannot be successful, the attention must be on the product, not the advertisement. The audience wants to notice the commodity, not that it is marketed to them. You want individuals to engage with the advertising, not know who they are being sold to.

Best David Ogilvy Quotes on Advertising

  1. Go Big or Go Home 

Don’t bunt, bunt. Get the goal out of the ballpark. The goal for the Everlasting Business. -the David Ogilvy

The brand you embody depends on you, and you have lost if you encourage yourself to take shortcuts or make a less than credible claim. You do not tolerate poor copies as an entrepreneur or company director. If on your own, you can’t reach excellence, so you should recruit someone who can.

  1. Never talk badly to your customers

A customer is not an asshole. She’s the mom of you. Don’t offend, and don’t shock, her intellect. -the David Ogilvy

This is a brilliant quote from Ogilvy, speaking on behalf of customers worldwide (for the video, click here). Talking to the customer is going to drive them away, as amazing as your product might be, and as much as you’d want them to be infatuated with your charismatic presentation, realize that they only want to fix a dilemma at the end of the day.

Of integrity and humility, treat the client. You’re on an even footing, or maybe a little lower, provided that you’re the one who wants the sale. In your copy, represent the position.

  1. Headlines are most important for a writer to recognize 

Five times as many people read the headline on average as read the body text. You spent eighty cents on the dollar when you wrote your headline. -David Ogilvy is considered as one of the best quotes by David Ogilvy on headlines. 

Headlines are as close as you can come to a magic bullet because if you’re going to be perfect in just one location, do that right here. Write a successful headline that will perform.

This is how:

  • Using models for headlines focused on headlines that served in the past.
  • Lead with a clear advantage that will make them want to learn more
  • If you may, divide the numerous news and see what fits best.
  1. Explain why your audience should buy 

The more insightful your commercials are, the more compelling they will be. -the David Ogilvy

You hooked them up with the headline and you told them all about the commodity, but they want to know one thing before they decide to buy it from you:

About why?

Why does the product matter? Why is there a decent deal here? Why are they expected to be interested? Why are they going to buy it from you? Why, rather than later, do they buy it now? Why do they have faith in you?

Consciously or subconsciously, all these questions run into the mind of a client. You need to answer them if you want them to function, and that means keeping your copy insightful.

David Ogilvy Quotes
  1. Your writing is important so treat it that way 

I earn my money delivering new babies to the world like a midwife, except that mine are new promotional campaigns. -the David Ogilvy

Far too often, corporation owners handle their copy of revenue as an afterthought. They scribble a few notes down, have someone check it, and send it off to make sure it is grammatically correct. Then they wonder if they’re not having results.

On the other side, David Ogilvy stared at one of his campaigns as his babies did. He was nurturing them, fighting for them, encouraging them to thrive. And in the history of advertising, he has created some of the best-selling campaigns.

The fact is, it takes time and energy to compose outstanding copies. Any of the best copywriters would only spend weeks crafting the headline, and it could take months for the body copy to be written.

Not that they are late. That is because the value of doing it right is understood to them.

  1. Don’t get diverted from marketing 

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative. -David Ogilvy

That couldn’t be truer. Marketers enjoy being sweet and funny, original and imaginative, but it’s risky as well.

People don’t set aside time to read advertisements; they’re probably in a hurry before they go on to something else, only take a brief look. If the point isn’t clear right away, odds are they’re not going to get it, and you’re going to lose them forever.

You need them to have the goods in their hands if you want people to buy them and be able to imagine how it would change their lives. Everything secondary. If you can amaze them in the loop with your words, great, please do not do so to the detriment of the

To sum-up the Quotes

List of best David Ogilvy quotes to learn from them and practice their essence in your writing style. 

“I don’t believe in tricky advertising, I don’t believe in cute advertising, I don’t believe in comic advertising. The people who perpetrate that kind of advertising never had to sell anything in their lives”
– David Ogilvy
“Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it”
– David Ogilvy
“If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you being able to advertise anything else”
– David Ogilvy
“Be more ambitious. Don’t bunt. When you get a job to do a story or an ad, try and hit the ball out of the park every time”
– David Ogilvy
“Good ad; all facts. No adjectives. All specifics. Sold a lot of cars”
– David Ogilvy
“Try and inject into every commercial you make a touch of singularity; a bird that will hook on to the consumer’s mind”
– David Ogilvy
“The more story-appeal there is in the picture or the photograph, the more people would look at your ad”
– David Ogilvy
“It lasted 19 years that campaign because it’s pretty good advertising. Apart from the eye-patch, the copy is very good. It’s all about the product. We don’t mess around”
– David Ogilvy
“The more you tell, the more you sell”
– David Ogilvy
“Try and get great ideas, great ideas that nobody has ever had before will last for years”
– David Ogilvy
“If you have a truly big idea, the wrong technique won’t kill it. And if you don’t have a big idea, the right technique won’t help you”
– David Ogilvy
“It’s the lack of ambition that cripples most people, and makes them so pedestrian in the advertising/creative business”
– David Ogilvy
“The general advertisers and their agencies know almost nothing for sure because they cannot measure the results of their advertising. They worship at the altar of creativity, which means ‘originality’: The most dangerous word in the lexicon of advertising”
– David Ogilvy
“When I was twenty-five I took a correspondence course in direct-mail. I bought it out of my pocket. Direct response is my first love, and later it became my secret weapon. When I started Ogilvy and Mather in New York, nobody had heard of this. But we were airborne within 6 months and grew at record speed”
– David Ogilvy
“Every 4 weeks I’d send personalized mailings to our new business prospects. And I was always amazed to discover how many of our clients had been attracted to Ogilvy and Mather by those mailings. That is how we grew”
– David Ogilvy
“Nobody should be allowed to create general advertising until he has served his apprenticeship in direct-response”
– David Ogilvy
“Consumers still buy products whose advertising promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status, and so on. All over the world”
– David Ogilvy
“The trouble with many copywriters in general agencies is that they don’t think in terms of selling. They have never written direct-response; they have never tasted blood”
– David Ogilvy
“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative’. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product”
– David Ogilvy
“My motto has always been: Only first-class business and that in a first-class way”
– David Ogilvy
“I hate rules”
– David Ogilvy
“I have noticed that agencies which are full of fun and ferment seem to create the best advertising. If you are not happy in advertising, for goodness sake find a job in which you would be happy. For, as far as I know, we pass this way only once”
– David Ogilvy
“Unless your advertising has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night”
– David Ogilvy
“I’d like to be remembered, as a copywriter who had some big ideas. That’s what the advertising business is all about. Big ideas”
– David Ogilvy

Also Read, Mad Men Hitting-Hard: 20 Best Don Draper Quotes

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for latest updates.


Gautam Hans

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *