Confessions of an Advertising Man

I've learned more about sales and marketing ( and writing ) from David Ogilvy, than all other sources combined.

His book, Confessions of an Advertising Man, is my bible.

You should read it.

For now, here are ten key lessons from the book, any one of which will make you instantly more successful.

  1. "The consumer isn't a moron; she's your wife."
  • Treat your audience with respect and intelligence, acknowledging their ability to make informed decisions.
  1. "If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative."
  • Creativity in advertising should always aim to drive sales and achieve business goals.
  1. "What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it."
  • The substance of your message matters more than its style or presentation.
  1. "When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
  • Headlines are crucial as they capture attention and convey the main idea, driving most of the ad's effectiveness.
  1. "Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving."
  • Continuous testing and iteration are essential for optimizing ad performance.
  1. "Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals."
  • Strive for bold, memorable campaigns that stand out and have a lasting impact.
  1. "It is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create."
  • Creativity must be paired with a clear strategy for selling the product or service.
  1. "Do not... address your readers as though they are gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone."
  • Write in a personal, conversational tone, making each reader feel individually addressed.
  1. "You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it."
  • Engage your audience with interesting and relevant content that captures their attention.
  1. "Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating."
  • Authenticity combined with compelling storytelling is powerful and persuasive.

Subscribe to Kerry Morrison

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.