A Copywriter Who Had Some Big Ideas

David Ogilvy The View From Touffou

This is a movie called “A View From Touffou” featuring master marketer, David Ogilvy where he talks about his life as an ad man and gives the audience specific advice on how to produce more effective copy and ads.

The video is a training video for Ogilvy & Mather employees, but somehow leaked onto YouTube.

I watched the movie last week and took away a number of things I thought worth sharing, especially on effective copywriting.

When you have a chance, I encourage you to watch the entire video.

Until then, here are some key points Ogilvy makes that can help you become a better marketer.

BIG IDEAS – that’s what the advertising business is all about

  • Do Your Homework
  • Test, Test, Test
  • Inject story appeal into photographs
  • News works well
  • Testimonials work well too
  • A change in headline can create a dramatic increase of sales
  • Headlines of 10 words sold more
  • Quotes around headlines are more memorable
  • Always pretend your an editor
  • Your ad should look like an editorial piece
  • Cannot bore people into buying your product
  • Never set body copy in reverse
  • Problem/solution works like gangbusters on TV
  • “Slice of life” – show a doubter being converted
  • Don’t use celebrities – people remember the celebrity, but forget the product
  • Demonstrations work
  • Emotions can work if your product is not demonstrable
  • Charm can work well
  • Nostalgia can work well
  • Animation can work well with children
  • Music can work, but don’t sing the sales pitch
  • Don’t use visual cliches
  • Emotions sell
  • Effective advertising is full of surprises

Ogilvy’s parting thought resonated the most with me because it’s the same as you hear today from the most successful Internet Marketers.

If you have a BIG IDEA, the wrong technique won’t kill it.
If you don’t have a BIG IDEA, the right technique won’t help it.

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