I own a small business and I oversee our marketing and advertising campaigns, and I’ve read this book probably ten times. In fact, my copy got so beat up, highlighted, and written in, that I had to buy a new one.
Ogilvy casually shares many gems of priceless advertising wisdom in this book, and they all are centered around one premise: That advertising is salesmanship in print, and that ads must make money to make sense.
If that sounds like common sense to you, then congratulations–you’re in the minority of people who “get it.” Untold millions of dollars are spent every day on advertising by people that don’t–people that use advertising to fulfill many other desires–to be creative, to be funny, to be liked, to just be out there; all of which suck the coffers dry and leave executives to wonder why so much money is going out and so little is coming in.
Ogilvy not only understood this trap, but he made it his life’s ambition to avoid it and, unsurprisingly, his agency became the leader of the pantheon of advertising gods.
Read this book. The ideas and techniques taught in it worked decades ago when he wrote it. They work now. They will continue to work.