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 the advertising world.
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 sweat.
Watch the grand old man below. If you think his ideas outdated, you’re simply not thinking.
There is nothing new under the sun, we need only the humility and wisdom to correctly apply and re-apply what has come before.
(And in case you’re afraid that Ogilvy’s legendary impatience with “creativity” means you have to be a hack, nothing could be further from the truth. Ogilvy wrote about the benefit of an ad writer being both a killer and a poet, and the ads he wrote showed he was a master of both.)
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