2011. ápr. 9.

David Ogilvy’s Four Problems of Advertising

Brad Shorr @ wordsellinc

In a preface to a later edition of his 1963 “Confessions of an Advertising Man“, advertising legend David Ogilvy identified four problems that threatened the survival of advertising. Although he wrote the preface in 1988, the problems are still very much with us.

1. Package goods manufacturers spend too much on discounting and not enough on advertising. “Price-off deals are a drug. Ask a drug-addicted brand manager what happened to his share of the market after the delirium of the deal subsided. He will change the subject. Ask him if the deal increased his profit. Again he will change the subject.”

2. Creativity for creativity’s sake. “…advertising agencies … are now infested with people who regard advertising as an avant-garde art form. They have never sold anything in their lives. Their ambition is to win awards at the Cannes Festival. They bamboozle their unfortunate clients into paying millions of dollars a year to exhibit their originality.”

3. Consolidation. “… the emergence of megalomaniacs whose mind-set is more financial than creative. They are building empires by buying up other agencies, to the consternation of their clients.”

4. Poor execution. “I recently counted forty-nine advertisements set in reverse (white type on black background) in one issue of a German magazine, long years after research demonstrated that reverse is difficult to read.”

In the book itself, Ogilvy makes some nice points about creativity in advertising. He points out that the best ads draw attention not to themselves, but to the product. And for creative types who demand total “freedom”, he points out that Shakespeare wrote some pretty fair sonnets while adhering to strict rules of form.
David Ogilvy, who passed away in 1999, is still teaching, still relevant. Contained in this deceptively simple, 200-page book, are hundreds of valuable ideas.

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