David Ogilvy on Six Giants who invented modern advertising

David Ogilvy….Ok, I’d heard a lot about him early on but went through his teachings only recently.  While going through a very interesting book (Ogilvy On Advertising) written by him, I found his thoughts – interesting and genuine.  Interestingly, this book also happens to be the one I wish to constantly learn from in the future.


"ADVERTISING is salesmanship—it is not fine art, literature or entertainment," insists David Mackenzie Ogilvy, 51, chairman of Manhattan’s Ogilvy, Benson & Mather." – ^ Time Magazine cover story, October 12, 1962

He was involved at the very start of modern advertising and points at the Six Giants who invented modern advertising –


1. Albert Lasker(1880 -1952) –

Lasker held that if an agency can write copy which sold the product, nothing else was needed. 

Lasker said -"I make my men so good that I can’t keep ’em"

One of his ideas were the ones he invented for selling KOTEX –

This is one of the Ads running at that time


2. Stanley Resor (1879-1962)

"Unlike Lasker he was a fervent believer of research"

This is one of the Ads from his firm JWT


3. Raymond Rubicam (1892 -1978)

When Ogilvy arrived in the US he called on Rubicam for an appointment armed with an introduction, "State your business", Rubicam barked.  "I want to pick your brains", replied Ogilvy.

4. Leo Burnett(1891-1971)

His attitude to the creative process can be summed up in three things he said –

a. "There is an inherent drama in every product.  Our No. 1 job is to dig for it and capitalize on it"

b. "When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either"

c. "Steep yourself in your subject, work like hell, and love, honor and obey your haunches"


5. Claude Hopkins(1867 -1932)

"Ad writers forget that they are salesmen and try to be performers.  Instead of sales, they seek applause."


6. Bill Bernbach(1911 -1982)

"It is fashionable to talk about the changing man.  A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man – what compulsions drive him, what instincts dominate his every action, even though his language too often camouflages what really motivates him"

Posted by Digvijay "VJ" Singh Rathore

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One Response to David Ogilvy on Six Giants who invented modern advertising

  1. Unknown says:

    awesome post

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