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Ogilvy on Advertising [Paperback]

David Ogilvy
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 5 2007
This is the definitive guide to advertising from the most influential and successful adman of all time - David Ogilvy - who founded an agency which is now an international giant.

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About the Author

In 1948, David Ogilvy founded the agency that would become Ogilvy & Mather. Starting with no clients and a staff of two, he built his company into one of the eight largest advertising networks in the world. He wrote three books about the basic principles of modern advertising: Confessions of an Advertising Man, Blood, Brains & Beer and Ogilvy on Advertising. Sadly, he died in 1999.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information in this book is priceless Jan. 21 2002
If you're in the profession of advertising, and this book isn't on your bookshelf, dog-eared, stained and well-worn, you've been ripping off your clients.
The entire premise of Ogilvy on Advertising boils down to one simple statement (coined by Claude Hopkins nearly 80 years ago in his book Scientific Advertising): "Advertising is salesmanship."
Sadly, the advertising world has drifted from that solid mooring. And now those who profess it are considered anachronistic at best. And kooky at worst.
Ogilvy, a staunch admirer of Hopkins, firmly embraced that tenet -- and it propelled him and his agency (Ogilvy and Mather) to the Mount Olympus of the advertising world. Most importantly, it made his clients rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Ogilvy's writing is captivating. His work, legendary. His ideas, timeless. The information in this book is easily work 10 times the cover price.
I've been in the profession of advertising for nearly 15 years. I'm also an adjunct professor at a nearby university. I wholeheartedly recommend Ogilvy On Advertising to my students. I firmly embrace its principles in my profession.
And I, without hesitation, urge you to read it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ORIGINAL MADMAN Nov. 17 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although somewhat dated, Ogilvy On Advertising is a classic on advertising. First published in 1986, David Ogilvy's primer about the industry was a sensation. His firm, (later Ogilvy and Mather, when he sold out and retired to a chateau in France) revolutionized print advertising and he set new standards of excellence. His motto was "I hate rules".
Some of his ads are still recognizable long after the client's campaign ended. Ogilvy created the Hathaway Shirt Man (with eye patch) for instance. In this book he discusses his competitors on Madison Ave with admiration of ads that were executed brilliantly, for they teach lessons he always believed in. He himself loved print ads and today his firm's magazine ads look, well, wordy. But they worked because he believed in giving the customer accurate and honest information.
If the reader is interested in or studying advertising, graphic art, or marketing, this is standard text. And it does not hurt that Ogilvy is a witty and engaging teacher.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated, pithy, entertaining, informative Jan. 21 2000
David Ogilvy sums up his years of experience as an advertising legend in a dozen concise and amply illustrated chapters. Critics might be inclined to attack his opinions as dogmatic, and some of the ads he uses as examples appear corny and outdated today. On the other hand, so do the clothes and hairstyles in old movies, but it doesn't make them any less valuable as historical artifacts, or any less interesting.
As for dogmatism, it's actually refreshing to get an unambiguous read on a profession that is by nature nebulous, and if anyone has a right to an opinion, he's the man.
The chapter on print advertising contains enough densely packed information to allow an intelligent novice to design and write a creditable ad, and the book concludes with a series of short profiles of advertising pioneers such as Leo Burnett that are highly engrossing.
Ogilvy's writing style is exemplary for anyone in the communications field: terse, forceful, devoid of hot air. Anyone interested in advertising, marketing, or public relations---or in David Ogilvy as a figure in his own right---will enjoy this classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The eternal truth about advertising Feb. 5 2001
By yossi
Some people may find the advice in this book out of date. Me, for one, will never trade this book for a more up to date trendy one. The wisdom provided by David Ogilvy is priceless, and outlines the eternal and basics of advertising principles. After all, though we have gone through many changes in the last years, products are still marketed by people to people. If you remember that, you will find this book an amazing experience.
What is particularly nice about it, is that Mr. Oglivy simplifies very complicated subjects, trying to have a 30,000 feet view of the problem, explain the essentials, and give some general guidelines. If you follow the Mr. Ogilvy's thinking pattern, and the principles emphasized (as posed to specific examples) you will be able to learn some of the most important lessons you will ever learn in this field.
To conclude, very recommended, and a must read for all people in the advertising business.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The ad man's "Elements of Style" April 23 2001
I have owned three copies of this book. I wore out the first one; it fell apart. The second one was stolen. The third one sits on the shelf of my office. And when I need a little inspiration, even a little reassurance that what I'm doing as an ad writer has a purpose, I go to this book. I equate it as the advertising equivalent to EB White's "Elements of Style."
Granted, Ogilivy was a bleeding egomaniac, one of those eccentric types who believed what he believed and God forbid you should prove him different. But in this book, he does admit some mistakes he had made in his career regarding approaches and ideas.
Still, a lot has changed in advertising since this book was published and I find myself looking at the ads inside for inspiration now, more than Ogilvy's somewhat self-serving commentary. Which is probably as it should be.
Oh, that Bill Bernbach had written a book like this before he died!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Advertising
A wonderfully written book by the father of Advertising. If you buy one book on Advertising - this should be it. You will refer to it more than any other. Love it!
Published 4 months ago by Krista Albrecht
5.0 out of 5 stars What you should know about advertising!
I have read it and continue to re-read it.

David Ogilvy was the man. His ads did one thing and that was make money for his clients. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anthony Testa
3.0 out of 5 stars An Icon
Ogilvy was an icon in print advertising. Great to see his insight and views, but also gives basic pointeers in developing print ads. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2011 by Brian C. Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best business books ever
I heard David Ogilvy interviewed on the radio when this book first came out. He was one tough character. Read more
Published on June 8 2011 by Messallus
5.0 out of 5 stars Half of all the advertising course you need
Want to understand how to be a copywriter or an art director? You need two books, and then you need to start making ads. Ogilvy's is one of them. Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by Michael Gebert
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ogilvy" is highly recommended!
... I was VERY impressed with this book. Not only did it have plenty of pictures to base its point, but the author himself is somewhat of a character (that's a good thing!). Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by Muffin McFurry
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Business People
I think this was a great book and even though Mr. Ogilvy may toot his own horn a bit that's fine, he deserves to! Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2001 by Karen L Larason
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy two copies
The late, great advertising man David Ogilvy left a wealth of proven sales techniques for those wise enough to own his book OGILVY ON ADVERTISING. Read more
Published on July 25 2001 by J. L LaRegina
4.0 out of 5 stars The "bible" is getting dated...
When I first read this book in 1988, it was an inspiration. Now, thirteen years later, it seems a shade out of step with the times. Read more
Published on May 13 2001 by Paul Misencik
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense is always timeless
I've owned the same doggeared, underlined, highlighted and notated copy of Ogilvy on Advertising for 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me that while I continue to buy and read... Read more
Published on March 14 2001 by William Davenport
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