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Lessons to Live By: 10 Quotations from David Ogilvy that will Boost your Business

David Ogilvy revolutionised the way we think about advertising and his straight-forward, no nonsense approach to writing copy could do the same for your campaigns.

Even if you’ve never heard of David Ogilvy, you’ve almost certainly seen his work. Ogilvy was one of the leading pioneers of modern advertising and his work has gone on to shape the way we think about advertising and even how businesses operate. He helped turn brands such as Shell, Rolls-Royce and Dove into household names and also revolutionised the working environment. Ogilvy even came up with the idea for the kind of leisurely work environments that are now seen at major companies like Google and his modern approach to work will make you rethink how you run your business.

Here are 10 quotations by Ogilvy that you should think about when running your business and before starting any new campaign:


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



“Unless your campaign contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”



Quotation from Lord Rutherford via David Ogilvy -

“If you can’t explain your physics to a barmaid then it’s bad physics.”



” The consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence.”



“Pay people peanuts and you get monkeys.”



“Never set copy in reverse. Research shows that when you set copy in reverse, nobody will read it.”



“Creating successful advertising is a craft, part inspiration but mostly know-how and hard work. If you have a modicum of talent, and know which techniques work at the cash register, you will go a long way.”



“It pays to study the product before writing you advertisements.”



“Editors of magazines are better communicators than advertising people. Copy their techniques.”



This last piece of advice should be taken with a pinch of salt (and a slice of lemon).

“People are more productive when they drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I am better able to write.”


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