The film is grainy. The sound crackles like an old record player. And the man speaking is a legend from another time.
However, the message in this classic David Ogilvy video still holds incredible truth and value in today’s advertising landscape. David Ogilvy may not have lived to see the rise of Facebook or the obliteration of print media, but the man understood what type of advertising works. Not to mention, he had a frighteningly clear picture of what the future would look like.
Here are 3 “David Ogilvy” insights from many years ago that we all should take heed of today:
“Direct Response people know what kind of advertising works and what doesn’t.”
The brutal honesty and accountability of direct response has always made for an incredible teacher. If our ads do not motivate viewers, we’ll know it. The client will know it. For us, every project is a lesson from which we learn.
Whether you’re generating a response via print, TV or digital, that results-driven experience provides us with a skill set that other advertising disciplines simply do not possess. Others do not understand our way of communicating, connecting and selling to consumers. They do not embrace analyzation and optimization the way we do. They do not see what we see.
"Nobody should be allowed to create general advertising until (s)he’s served (an) apprenticeship in direct response."
If you spend your entire career not knowing which type of ads have succeeded or failed, how do you truly help a client grow their business? This blindfolded way of working may seem strange for those who live in a ROI-driven world, but the reality is many advertising folks have no clue how their advertising performs. This lack of knowledge and understanding affects everything -- from the words you choose to the media you buy.
“Because they cannot measure their results, they worship at the altar of creativity.”
Instead of looking at results -- like phone calls, site visits or sales -- the benchmarks for success in general advertising are, “What do my co-workers think?” and “How many awards did it win?” While the opinions of those parties are valid, they do not regard an advertisement’s ultimate purpose. And they do not help an advertising person learn how to get results. In fact, this method of evaluation is counterproductive to mastering the craft of creating ads that work. Think about it, “ads that sell” typically do not help you bring home a shiny Clio.
So take a few minutes. Watch David Ogilvy as he removes his jacket, contemplates the future and talks passionately about his secret weapon. See what you think about what his message means in today’s different (sort of) world.