I’ve just finished reading Ogilvy on Advertising and even though I’ve never held an advertising job, and don’t intend to pursue that career – I absolutely loved it.
The book itself feels great in your hand – terrific look and feel, and is filled with pearls of wisdom about advertising on a range of subjects from how to make TV commercials that sell to competing with P&G.
I’m not quite sure how I ended up picking up this book, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it, but I breezed through it, and felt annoyed the few times I had to put it down to get to the real world.
I’ve learned a few things that I hope to use for OneMint and some of my otherÂ work, and ultimately if you think about it – advertising is selling, and a lot of us have to do it at some point or the other in our careers.
The book is divided into chapters with each chapter tackling a specific issue and providing answer to a specific problem. These few titles will tell you what I’m talking about:
- Jobs in advertising – and how to get them?
- How to advertise foreign travel?
- Advertising for good causes
The book is filled with actionable and practical tips for advertisers and there are many many tips and guidelines on how to do certain things.
For instance, Mr. Ogilvy asks everyone that they advertise with black words on white background and not the other way round since that makes it harder to read. In another instance he talks about having the caption of an image below it and not above it to be read by more people.
Another example that I liked came from the chapter on direct mail, in which he writes a small section on television for persuading people to buy directly by mail or phone he writes the following:
The better the program on which your commercials appear, the fewer sales you make. When viewers are bored by an old movie, they are more likely to pick up the telephone and order your product than when they are riveted by an episode of Dallas.
There are many many rules like that, and there are a lot of interesting stories as well – like one where he says that while advertising for Cessna Citation business jets they sent out live carrier pigeons with an invitation to take a free ride in the jet!
He says that some recipients actually ate the pigeon but many returned alive and they sold at least one jet for $600,000!
There are many ad copies in the book as well, and I found myself flipping through them at leisure and looking at all the great stuff there.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am now looking forward to reading his first book as well. I don’t however feel that everyone will like it as much as I did.
In my opinion, you should at least have some interest in advertising, or must be required to sell in some capacity to truly enjoy and appreciate the book, and a lot of people simply don’t have these type of job functions.
But in case you are interested in the book you can find Ogilvy on Advertising on Amazon.
Disclosure: Both book links are Amazon affiliate links.