We’re at the beginning of a huge shift in what constitutes “advertising” thanks to social media. Advertising legend David Ogilvy worked through a similar period of drastic change, and pioneered some of the most effective techniques of his day.
One would think that the wisdom of Ogilvy would have little application to social media marketing. To the contrary, I think his philosophies are dead on the money.
In fact, unlike some of my previous odes to the thoughts of the famous as applied to blogging, Ogilvy needs no elaboration from me. Simply swap out “advertisement” for “blog,” “blogging,” or “post” as appropriate, and you’ve got it.
- “The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.”
- “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
- “I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”
- “I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.”
- “Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”
- “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”
- “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”
- “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.”
- “Nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else’s advertising.”
And finally, this bit of wisdom for all you Marketing 2.0 ad agency bloggers out there, from the opening paragraph of Ogilvy on Advertising:
“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or art form, but as a medium of information. 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. When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.’”