David Ogilvy quotes

  • If you ever find a man who is better than you are - hire him. If necessary, pay him more than you pay yourself.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Men #Pay

  • If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Inspirational #Business #People

  • There is one catagory of advertising which is totally uncontrolled and flagrantly dishonest: the television commercials for candidates in Presidential elections.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Presidential #Television #Election

  • The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Marketing #Advertising #Economy

  • The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Funny #Sarcastic #Witty

  • Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Design #Excellence #Balls

  • Never write more than two pages on any subject.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Writing #Two #Pages

  • The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Creativity #Humor #Thinking

  • To advertisers: "Do not compete with your agency in the creative area. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?"
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Dog #Agency #Creative

  • If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Wise #Witty #Humor

  • Encourage innovation. Change is our lifeblood, stagnation our death knell.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Innovation #Stagnation

  • I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Illumination #Support #Marketing

  • If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope do you have of advertising anything else?
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Advertising

  • If you tell lies about a product, you will be found out - either by the Government, which will prosecute you, or by the consumer, who will punish you by not buying your product a second time.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Lying #Government #Buying

  • What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Organization #Important

  • Training should not be confined to trainees. It should be a continuous process, and should include the entire professional staff of the agency. The more our people learn, the more useful they can be to our clients.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Agency #People #Training

  • I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Awkward #Marketing #Clients

  • Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #People #Enemy

  • Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Writing #People #Together

  • The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Believe #Power #Jingles

  • Set exorbitant standards, and give your people hell when they don't live up to them. There is nothing so demoralizing as a boss who tolerates second rate work.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #People #Giving #Boss

  • The business community wants remarkable advertising, but turns a cold shoulder to the kind of people who can produce it. That is why most advertisements are so infernally dull.... our business needs massive transfusions of talent. And talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Believe #People #Community

  • A consumer is not a moron. She's your wife. Don't insult her intelligence, and don't shock her.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Wife #Insult #Shock

  • The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore. Foster any attempt to talk about other things; the longer you stay the better you get to know the prospect, and the more you will be trusted.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Faults #Worst #Bores

  • On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Average #People #Body

  • Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #People #Routine

  • Leaders grasp nettles.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Leadership #Leader #Nettles

  • It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money...
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Headlines

  • Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Evil #Marketing #Motivational Business

  • I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Art #Information #Entertainment

  • A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Drawing #Attention

  • Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won't think you're going gaga.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Thinking #People #Way

  • If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don't let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else's advertising.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Agency #Worry

  • The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Perfection #Excellence #Planning

  • Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Telling The Truth

  • The psychiatrists say that everybody should have a hobby. The hobby I recommend is advertising
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Hobbies #Advertising #Should

  • Much of the messy advertising you see on television today is the product of committees. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Design #Television

  • There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Needs #Looks

  • The temptation to entertain instead of selling is contagious.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Temptation #Selling #Contagious

  • Write the way you talk. Naturally.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Writing #Way

  • There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Beer #Cake #Differences

  • 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.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Perspective #Meat #Flags

  • Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Humor #Marketing #Failing

  • Good products can be sold by honest advertising. If you don't think the product is good, you have no business to be advertising it.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Thinking #Honest

  • As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Passion #Dark #Men

  • 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.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Real #Done

  • You now have to decide what 'image' you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Mean #People #Personality

  • The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Work #Careers #Years

  • Creativity Is a fancy word for the work we have to do by Friday.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Friday #Creativity #Fancy

  • Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Brands

  • It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Night #Ideas #Doubt

  • The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Agency #Doctors #Perspective

  • You cannot bore people into buying your product - you can only interest them in buying it.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #People #Buying #Interest

  • If you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants
    -- David Ogilvy

    #People #Giants #Bigger

  • Like a midwife, I make my living bringing new babies into the world, except that mine are new advertising campaigns.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Baby #Campaigns #World

  • Every ad is an investment in the long-term image of a brand.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Long #Investment #Term

  • There are very few men of genius in advertising agencies. But we need all we can find. Almost without exception they are disagreeable. Don't destroy them. They lay golden eggs.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Men #Agency #Eggs

  • The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Leadership #Business #Vocabulary

  • Good copy can't be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You've got to believe in the product.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Believe #Marketing

  • Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Night #Ideas #Marketing

  • We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost - for support, but not for illumination
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Illumination #Support #Use

  • Play to win, but enjoy the fun.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Fun #Winning #Play

  • Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Trying #Jargon

  • Develop your eccentricities early, and no one will think you're going senile later in life
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Thinking

  • Don't hire a dog, then bark yourself
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Dog #Creativity #Bark

  • Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Believe #Rebel #Talent

  • Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Marketing #Advertising

  • Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Perseverance #Business #Fool

  • First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Leadership #Creativity #Creative

  • A well-run restaurant is like a winning baseball team. It makes the most of every crew member's talent and takes advantage of every split-second opportunity to speed up service.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Teamwork #Baseball #Running

  • Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write plans. They are helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Writing #Men #Agency

  • In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Inspirational #Business #Creativity

  • I never tell one client that I cannot attend his sales convention because I have a previous engagement with another client; successful polygamy depends upon pretending to each spouse that she is the only pebble on your beach.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Beach #Successful #Engagement

  • 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.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Writing #Thinking

  • What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Insightful #Marketing

  • Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Advertising #Testing

  • I did not feel 'evil' when I wrote advertisements for Puerto Rico. They helped attract industry and tourists to a country which had been living on the edge of starvation for 400 years.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Country #Years #Evil

  • Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Lying #Writing

  • 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.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Business #Average #People

  • Many of the greatest creations of man have been inspired by the desire to make money...If Oxford undergraduates were paid for their work, I would have performed miracles of scholarship and become Regius Professor of Modern History.
    -- David Ogilvy

    #Education #Men #Oxford