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David Ogilvy: 7 Marketing Quotes from the Father of Advertising

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Image Credit: David Ogilvy

Marketing trailblazer David Ogilvy, has in many ways defined the business world as we know it today. Through his company Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy worked with countless well-known brands from Rolls Royce to Dove, crafting some of the most effective advertising campaigns ever created.

The following quotes from the father of advertising, are examples of his timeless approach to advertising and gives us a glimpse into the mind of the man himself:

1. “The more facts you tell, the more you sell. An advertisement’s chance for success invariably increases as the number of pertinent merchandise facts included in the advertisement increases.”

Ogilvy was a firm believer in providing the customer with the facts from the get-go. Of course, you’ve no doubt heard that benefits, should come before features, and Ogilvy agreed: “The key to success is to promise the consumer a benefit — like better flavour, whiter wash, more miles per gallon, a better complexion.”

But that doesn’t mean they should be substituted for the facts and features of a product or service. After all, how likely are you to buy something without having the faintest idea of what it does?

2. “Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating.”

It’s always better to tell the truth, rather than relying on heavy-handed and misleading techniques. However, common-sense should prevail and compel you to forever remain faithful to the facts. Consumers aren’t stupid – particularly in this day and age – and if you’re bending the truth, at some point or another, you’ll come unstuck, which is a difficult position to come back from. Having said that, it doesn’t mean your truth needs to be boring, as the man himself said, make it fascinating. 

3. “Another profitable gambit is to give the reader helpful advice or service. It hooks about 75 per cent more readers than copy which deals entirely with the product.”

Ogilvy defines two kinds of helpfulness:

  1. Helping a prospective customer understand the product
  2. Offering the consumer valuable advice and information free of charge

The latter point is an early iteration of content marketing. By offering someone a thought or some words of advice, free of charge, they’re much more likely to return to you in the future. 

For example, Ogilvy suggested offering free recipes for companies in the food industry. This is a compelling idea, as it increases the chances of customer engagement, without focusing your marketing solely on the product itself.

4. “Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

Whether you’re writing copy, designing a new website, or undertaking any form of marketing, it’s essential to be completely transparent about your objectives. As Ogilvy elaborates: “Most campaigns are too complicated. They reflect a long list of objectives and try to reconcile the divergent views of too many executives. By attempting to cover too many things, they achieve nothing. Their advertisements look like the minutes of a committee.”

5. “You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.”

One of the cardinal sins of marketing, and many other walks of life, is being uninteresting. In order to grab engaged interest, you need to be charismatic; there is simply no way around it when you’re trying to sell something. No matter how niche your product or service is, there will always be competition in some form, so it’s important to steal a march on them.

In order to gain people’s attention, you need to understand who they are, what they want, what interests them, and what motivates their behaviour. By gaining this valuable insight into the customer, you’ve got an excellent opportunity to speak to them about something they hold an interest in, which makes what you have to say far more appealing.

6. “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife.”

This idea brings all of the previous points together, and without it, nothing much is going to happen. If you don’t take the time to understand who your customer is, there will be no big idea, you won’t be able to provide all the facts, and you certainly won’t be capturing the right kind of interest in your product or service.

You need to demonstrate that you understand your customer’s thoughts and feelings, and you know exactly what they need. You can achieve this, in Olgivy’s words by: “…writing your copy in the colloquial language which your customers use in everyday conversation.”

7. “Golden rewards await the advertiser who has the brains to create a coherent image, and the stability to stick with it over a long period.”

Ogilvy was a big advocate of brand consistency, and his ideas on this subject are still steadfast to this day. Ogilvy understood that, in order to achieve brand consistency over the long-term, you must first define exactly what your brand is with a certain amount of discipline and restraint. Ogilvy says, “Most manufacturers are reluctant to accept any limitation on the image of their brand. They want it to be all things to all people … They generally end up with a brand which has no personality of any kind, a wishy-washy neuter. No capon ever rules the roost.”

Takeaways 

David Ogilvy based his career around 7 core principles that we’ve mentioned in this blog:

  1. Give the Facts
  2. Be Truthful
  3. Be Helpful
  4. Have a “Big Idea”
  5. Don’t Be Boring 
  6. Understand Your Customer 
  7. Stay True to Your Brand

These were covered in his book, “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, released back in 1963. And although at the time of writing, these principles are 57 years old (in actual fact, they are probably older given Ogilvy started his agency in 1949), all 7 are still incredibly essential tools in the modern marketer’s arsenal, and you’d be foolish to dismiss them.

Of the 7 quotes above, which one is your favorite and why? Share your thoughts with us below!

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51 Legendary Elvis Presley Quotes

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Elvis Presley Quotes

Elvis Presley’s words of wisdom through these quotes continue to inspire us to chase our dreams and never give up on our ambitions.

Elvis Presley was a true artist who believed in the power of hard work and dedication.

Let us take a cue from the King of Rock and Roll and let Elvis Presley’s quotes guide you to be the best version of yourself.

 

Here are 51 Inspirational Elvis Presley Quotes:

 

1. “I’m not trying to prove anything with my music” – Elvis Presley

 

2. “I don’t want to be a figurehead, I just want to be an instrument of God” – Elvis Presley

 

3. “I don’t want to be just a memory” – Elvis Presley

 

4. “A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business, live concerts.” – Elvis Presley

 

5. “I’m just a simple country boy at heart.” – Elvis Presley

 

6. “My work is my life, I put everything I am into it” – Elvis Presley

 

7. “I’m just trying to do the best I can” – Elvis Presley

 

8. “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I’m definitely an individual.” – Elvis Presley

 

9. “I’m just an ordinary person who has become a king” – Elvis Presley

 

10. “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I’m definitely an individual.” – Elvis Presley

 

11. “I’m the king of rock and roll, but I didn’t invent it” – Elvis Presley

 

12. “I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around.” – Elvis Presley

 

13. “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I’m definitely an individual.” – Elvis Presley

 

14. “I’m just an entertainer, that’s all.” – Elvis Presley

 

15. “I try to give my audience a little of what they came for, a little of what they didn’t expect.” – Elvis Presley

 

16. “I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning… Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” – Elvis Presley

 

17. “The only thing that can change my mind is a better idea.” – Elvis Presley

 

18. “I don’t think I have ever been as relaxed on stage as I am now.” – Elvis Presley

 

19. “I’m just a simple country boy at heart.” – Elvis Presley

 

20. “I just want to be remembered as a good performer.” – Elvis Presley

 

21. “I’ve left my mark, and I hope it’s a good one” – Elvis Presley

 

22. “If you can’t find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.” – Elvis Presley

 

23. “I’m not a politician. I’m just an entertainer” – Elvis Presley

 

24. “I’m a one-man army” – Elvis Presley

 

25. “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I’m definitely an individual.” – Elvis Presley

 

Here’s an Elvis Presley Picture Quote

Elvis Presley Quote

 

26. “I’m just an ordinary person who has become a king.” – Elvis Presley

 

27. “I’m not trying to prove anything with my music.” – Elvis Presley

 

28. “I don’t want to be a figurehead, I just want to be an instrument of God.” – Elvis Presley

 

29. “I don’t want to be just a memory.” – Elvis Presley

 

30. “I’m just trying to do the best I can.” – Elvis Presley

 

31. “I’m not a perfectionist, but I like to feel that things are done well.” – Elvis Presley

 

32. “I’m the first one to say I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve also had a lot of successes.” – Elvis Presley

 

33. “I’m always looking for new ways to express myself and push the boundaries of what I can do.” – Elvis Presley

 

34. “I’m not afraid to take risks and try new things, even if it means going against the norm.” – Elvis Presley

 

35. “I’m not just a singer, I’m an entertainer. I want to give my audience a show they’ll never forget.” – Elvis Presley

 

36. “I’m not in the music business for the fame or the money, I’m in it because I love it.” – Elvis Presley

 

37. “I’m not just a musician, I’m a storyteller. I want to take my audience on a journey through my songs.” – Elvis Presley

 

38. “I don’t believe in being a one-hit wonder. I want to have a long and successful career.” – Elvis Presley

 

39. “I’m not just a performer, I’m a student of music. I’m always learning and growing as an artist.” – Elvis Presley

 

40. “I’m not just a singer, I’m a performer. I want to give my audience an experience they’ll never forget.” – Elvis Presley

 

41. “Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.” – Elvis Presley

 

42. “Man, I was tame compared to what they do now. Are you kidding? I didn’t do anything but just jiggle.” – Elvis Presley

 

43. “…the image is one thing and the human being is another…it’s very hard to live up to an image.” – Elvis Presley

 

44. “I ain’t no saint, but I’ve tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God…I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world.” – Elvis Presley

 

45. “Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.” – Elvis Presley

 

46. “When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times…I learned very early in life that: ‘Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend – without a song.’ So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.” – Elvis Presley

 

47. “A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business – live concerts.” – Elvis Presley

 

48. “The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn’t know what all the yelling was about. I didn’t realize that my body was moving. It’s a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, ‘What’d I do? What’d I do?’ And he said “Whatever it is, go back and do it again.” – Elvis Presley

 

49. “We do two shows a night for five weeks. A lotta times we’ll go upstairs and sing until daylight – gospel songs. We grew up with it…It more or less puts your mind at ease. It does mine.” – Elvis Presley

 

50. “I’ve never gotten over what they call stagefright. I go through it every show. I’m pretty concerned, I’m pretty much thinking about the show. I never get completely comfortable with it, and I don’t let the people around me get comfortable with it, in that I remind them that it’s a new crowd out there, it’s a new audience, and they haven’t seen us before. So it’s got to be like the first time we go on.” – Elvis Presley

 

51. “‘Til we meet again, may God bless you. Adios.” – Elvis Presley

 

Elvis Presley’s legacy lives on as a true icon of music and entertainment:

He left an indelible mark on the world with his unique style and undeniable talent. Elvis broke barriers and set the standard for generations to come, and his influence can still be felt in music today. He truly was the King of Rock and Roll, and his legacy will continue to inspire for many years to come.

 

What’s your favorite Elvis Presley quote? Share it with us below!

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