David Ogilvy’s Prophetic “Secret Weapon” of Selling

Image of Drayton Bird Ad for Ogilvy & Mather Direct

Almost forty years ago, storied ad man David Ogilvy sat down in an office somewhere in India and recorded a little film confessing the — as he put it — “secret weapon” of advertising that actually works.

It was a hot day, so he took off his jacket, exposing his infamous red suspenders. Ogilvy spoke simply and directly to his audience on the other side of the camera.

The prophecy he uttered in that grainy 7-minute film all those years ago has come to pass, with a bullet.

Though visionary, Ogilvy could not have imagined just how powerful his “secret weapon” would become in the age of the Internet, or how it would ultimately be wielded by individuals building media companies with nothing more than a laptop and sufficient quantities of research and sweat.

Watch the grand old man below. Make the connection between Ogilvy’s 80-year-old secret and the principles we talk about around here week in and week out.

There is nothing new under the sun, we only need the humility and intelligence to correctly apply the proven wisdom and strategy that has come before us …

Ladies and Gentlemen, I envy you. For forty years, I’ve been a voice crying in the wilderness. Today, my first love is coming to its own. You face a golden future. ~ David Ogilvy

About the author

Robert Bruce


Robert Bruce is working on something new over at Rainmaker.FM, while filing stories on media, culture, and mayhem to the Internet nightly.

Print Friendly

Smarter is Better Solutions for Smarter Content Marketing

Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  • 15 high-impact ebooks on content marketing, SEO, email marketing, landing pages, keyword research, and more.
  • A 20-part Internet marketing course that lays out a comprehensive path for your own online strategy.
  • An organized reference guide to the “best of the best” of Copyblogger.com, and how it all profitably fits together.
Free Registration

Take The Conversation Further ...

We'd love to know your thoughts on this article.
Meet us over on Twitter or LinkedIn to join the conversation right now!