How To Create Advertising That Sells

How To Create Advertising That Sells

The “Father of Advertising” David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather, is one of the greats. In his advertisement/advertorial, “How to create advertising that sells,” you’ll see tons of great ideas to help you in your business. Ogilvy is one source we rely on over and over again as his company actually did research (as noted in the ad). For a high-res version of the ad, click on the image.



How to create advertising that sells by David Oglivy

Ogilvy & Mather has created over $1,480,000,000 worth of advertising, and spent $4,900,000 tracking the results. Here, with all the dogmatism of brevity are 38 of the things we have learned.

1.  The most important decision.

We have learned that the effect of your advertising on your sales depends more on this decision than on any other: how should you position your product?

Should you position Schweppes as a soft drink – or as a mixer?

Should you position Dove as a product for dry skin or as a product which gets hands really clean?

The results of your campaign depend less on how we write your advertising than how your product is positioned.  It follows that positioning should be decided before the advertising is created.

Research can help. Look before you leap.

2.  Large promise.

The second most important decision is this:  what should you promise the customer?  A promise is not a claim, or a theme, or a slogan.  It is a benefit for the consumer.

It pays to promise a benefit which is unique and competitive, and the product must deliver the benefit your promise.

Most advertising promises nothing.  It is doomed to fail in the marketplace.

”Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement”  – said Samuel Johnson.

3.  Brand image.

Every advertisement should contribute to the complex symbol which is the brand image.  95% of all advertising is created ad hoc.  Most products lack any consistent image from one year to another.

The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market.

4. Big ideas.

Unless your advertising is built on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.

It takes a BIG IDEA a to jolt the consumer out of his indifference – to make him notice your advertising, remember it and take action.

Big ideas are usually simple ideas. Said Charles Kettering, the great General Motors inventor: “this problem, when solved, will be simple.”

BIG SIMPLE IDEAS are not easy to come by. They require genius – and midnight oil. A truly big one can be continued for 20 years – like our eye patch for Hathaway shirts.

5. A first-class ticket.

It pays to give most products an image of quality – a first-class ticket.

Ogilvy & Mather  has been conspicuously successful in doing this – for Pepperidge, Hathaway, Mercedes Benz, Schweppes, Dove and others.

If your advertising looks ugly, consumers will conclude that  your product is shoddy and they will be less likely to buy it.

6. Don’t be a bore.

Nobody was ever bored into buying a product. Yet most advertising is impersonal, detached, cold – and dull.

It pays to involve the customer.

Talk to her like a human being. Charm her. Make her hungry. Get her to participate.

7. Innovate.

Start trends – instead of following them. Advertising which follows a fashionable fad or is imitative, is seldom successful.

It pays to innovate, to blaze new trails.

But innovation is risky unless you pre-test your innovation with consumers. Look before you leap.

8.  Be suspicious of awards.

The pursuit of creative awards seduces creative people from the pursuit of sales.

We have been unable to establish any correlation whatever between awards and sales.

At Ogilvy and Mather, we now give an annual award for the campaign which contributes the most to sales.

Successful advertising sells the product without drawing attention to itself, it rivets the consumer’s attention on the product.

Make the product the hero of your advertising.

9.  Psychological Segmentation.

Any good agency knows how to position products for demographic segments of the market – for men, for young children, for farmers in the south, etc.

But Ogilvy and Mather has learned that it often pays to position for psychological segments of the market.

Our Mercedes-Benz advertising is positioned to fit non-conformists who scoff at “status symbols” and reject flim-flam appeals to snobbery.

10.  Don’t bury news.

It is easier to interest the consumer in a product when it is new than at any other point in its life.  Many copywriters have a fatal instinct for burying news.  That is why most advertising for new products fails to exploit the opportunity that genuine news provides.

It pays to launch your new product with a loud BOOM-BOOM.

11.  Go the whole hog.

Most advertising campaigns are too complicated.  They reflect a long list of marketing objectives.  They embrace the divergent views of too many executives.  By attempting too many things, they achieve nothing.

It pays to boil down your strategy to one simple promise – and go the whole hog in delivering that promise.

What works best in television

12.  Testimonials.

Avoid irrelevant celebrities.  Testimonial commercials are almost always successful – if you make them credible.

Either celebrities or real people can be effective.  But avoid irrelevant celebrities whose fame has no natural connection with your product or your customers.  Irrelevant celebrities steal attention from your product.

13. Problem-solution (don’t cheat!)

You set up a problem that the consumer recognizes.

Then you show how your product can solve that problem.

And you prove the solution.

This technique has always been above average in sales results, and it still is. But don’t use it unless you can do so without cheating: the consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.

14. Visual demonstrations.

If they are honest, visual demonstrations are generally effective in the marketplace.

It pays to visualize your promise. It saves time. It drives the promise home. It is memorable.

15. Slice of life.

Playlets are corny, and most copywriters detest them. But they have sold a lot of merchandise, and are still selling.

16. Avoid logorrhea.

Make your pictures tell the story. What you show is more important than what you say.

Many commercials drown the viewer in a torrent of words. We call that logorrhea (rhymes with diarrhea).

We have created some great commercials without words.

17. On-camera voice.

Commercials using on-camera voice do significantly better than commercials using voice over.

18.  Musical Backgrounds.

Most commercials use musical backgrounds.  However, on the average, musical backgrounds reduce recall of your commercial.  Very few creative people accept this.

But we never heard of an agency using musical background under a new business presentation.

19.  Stand-ups.

The stand-up pitch can be effective, if it is delivered with straightforward honesty.

20.  Burr of singularity.

The average consumer now sees 20,000 commercials a year; poor dear.

Most of them slide off her memory like water off a duck’s back.

Give your commercials a flourish of singularity, a burr that will stick in the consumer’s mind.  One such burr is the MNEMONIC DEVICE or relevant symbol – like the crowns in our commercials for Imperial Margarine.

21.  Animation and cartoons.

Less than 5% of television commercials use cartoons or animation.  They are less persuasive than live commercials.

The consumer can not identify herself with the character in the cartoon and cartoons do not invite belief.

However, Carson-Roberts, our partners in Los Angeles, tell us that animation can be helpful when you are talking to children

They should know — they have addressed more than 600 commercials to children.

22.  Salvage commercials.

Many commercials which test poorly can be salvaged.

The faults revealed by the test can be corrected.  We have doubled the effectiveness of a commercial simply be re-editing it.

23.  Factual versus emotional.

Factual commercials tend to be more effective than than emotional commercials.

However, Ogilvy & Mather has made some emotional commercials, which have been successful in the marketplace.  Among these are our campaigns for Maxwell House Coffee and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.

24.  Grabbers.

We have found that commercials with an exciting opening hold their audience better than commercials which begin quietly.

What works best in print

25. Headlines.

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.

It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your money.  That is why most Ogilvy and Mather headlines include the brand name and the promise.

26.  Benefited headline.

Headlines that promise to benefit sell more than those that don’t.

27.  News and headlines.

Time after time we have found that it pays to inject genuine news into headlines.

The consumer is always on the lookout for new products or new improvements in an old product, or new ways to use an old product.

Economists approve of this.  They call it “informative” advertising.  So do consumers.

28.  Simple headlines.

Your headline should telegraph what you want to say – in simple language.  Readers do not stop to decipher the meanings of obscure headlines.

29.  How many words in a headline?

In headline tests conducted with cooperation from a big department store, it was found that headlines of 10 words or longer sold more goods than short headlines.

In terms of recall, headlines between 8-and-10 words are most effective.

In mail order advertising, headlines between 6-and-12 words get the must coupon returns.

On the average, long headlines sell more merchandise than short ones – headlines like our “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

30.  Localize headlines.

In local advertising, it pays to include the name of the city in your headline.

31.  Select your prospects.

When you advertise your product which is consumed by a special group, it pays to flag that group in your headline – MOTHERS, BED-WETTERS, GOING TO EUROPE?

32. Yes, people read long copy.

Readership falls off rapidly up to 50 words, but drops very little between 50 and 500 words (this page contains 1,909 words, and you are reading it).

Ogilvy & Mather has used long copy – with notable success – from Mercedes Benz, Cessna Citation, Merrill Lynch, and Shell Gasoline.

“The more you tell, the more sell.”

33. Story appeal and picture.

Ogilvy & Mather has gotten noticeable results with photographs, which suggest the story. The reader glances at the photograph and asks himself, “what goes on here?” Then he reads the copy to find out.

Harold Rudolph called this magic element “story appeal.” The more of it you inject into your photograph, the more people look at your advertisements.

It is easier said than done.

34. Before and after.

Before and after advertisements are somewhat above average in attention value.

Any form of visualized contrast seems to work well.

35. Photographs versus art work.

Ogilvy & Mather has found that photographs work better than drawing – almost invariably.

They attract more readers, generate more appetite appeal, are more believable, are better remembered, pull more coupons, and sell more merchandise.

36. Use captions to sell.

On the average, twice as many people read the captions under photographs as read the body copies.

It follows that you should never use a photograph without putting a caption under it; and each caption should be a miniature advertisement for the product – complete with the brand name and promise.

37. Editorial layout.

Ogilvy & Mather has had more success with editorial layouts, than with ad layouts.

Editorial layouts get higher readership than conventional advertisements.

38. Repeat your winners.

Scores of great advertisements have been discarded before they have begun to pay off.

Readership can actually increase with repetition – up to five repetitions.

Do you know the three R’s of successful project management?

They are real time, relationship and responsibility. These three R’s of project management can transform an idea into a successfully completed project. When planning a project it is important to give real time schedules in which a project can be finished. To do this, it’s important to make a plan of action. You want to include when will the project start, how long it will take, review points, due date and finalizing with the client.

Maintaining a positive, cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is also essential to quality project management. Good communication is the key to these relationships. Take a few minutes to email, call and keep the other team members and the client informed about the current project stage.

Assigning individual responsibilities for the tasks and taking responsibilty for the overall project can be the difference between success and failure! Your name is on you work. Do a job that you want to stand behind. Not all projects succeed, but they do teach us about our weaknesses, strengths and where to improve. Practicing the three R’s of project management is your stepping stone to success.

Project management is a dynamic and multifaceted discipline that requires skillful navigation in a variety of domains. From time management to relationship building and taking on leadership roles, the foundational pillars of project management are rooted in the ability to balance and coordinate tasks to ensure a project’s success. Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or new to the field, understanding the complexities of time, relationships, and responsibilities is essential in any project’s execution. In this article, we will explore some key insights and strategies to help you excel in these three critical areas of project management.

As a project manager, one of the most important responsibilities you have is managing time expectations. With time being one of the most limited resources we have, it's essential that projects are completed on time and within budget. This can be a challenge, but with proper planning, it's possible to give realistic schedules in which a project can be finished. Planning a project is a key part of managing time expectations. You want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what the project entails, who will be involved, and what resources will be needed. Once you have a good understanding of the project, you can begin to develop a plan of action. Your plan should include when the project will start, how long it will take, review points, due dates, and finalizing with the client. It's important to break the project down into manageable tasks and assign responsibilities to team members. This ensures that everyone knows what they are responsible for and can work towards a common goal. When developing your plan, it's important to take into account potential roadblocks that could arise during the project. It's unrealistic to expect everything to go smoothly, so be sure to build in some flexibility into your schedule. This will allow you to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and still keep the project on track. Regular review points throughout the project are crucial to managing time expectations. This allows you to keep track of progress, identify any areas where things are falling behind, and make adjustments as needed. By staying on top of the project throughout its lifecycle, you can avoid any surprises that could impact the timeline. Another important step to managing time expectations is to set due dates and communicate them clearly. Make sure all team members know when their tasks are due, and build in ample time for review and feedback. By setting due dates, you can ensure that the project stays on track and that everyone is working towards the same deadlines. Finally, it's important to finalize the project with the client. This is when you will deliver the finished product or service and get feedback. Make sure that the client understands the timeline and is on board with the schedule. If there are any changes or delays, be sure to communicate them clearly. In conclusion, managing time expectations in project management is a critical task. By planning the project properly, breaking it down into manageable tasks, building in flexibility, setting due dates, and communicating clearly with the client, you can ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. Remember to stay on top of progress and make adjustments as needed. By doing so, you'll be able to deliver successful projects that meet or exceed customer expectations.

Maintaining a positive, cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is essential to quality project management. Successful project management cannot be achieved without effective communication, and strong communication skills are the key to building solid professional relationships. To be successful in any project management endeavor, project managers must put in the effort to maintain strong relationships with all stakeholders involved, including fellow team members and clients. First and foremost, good communication is fundamental to building cooperative relationships. Communication is more than just exchanging information; it is about connecting with others. Effective communication is about understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information being shared. When communication is practiced adequately, it is possible to build strong relationships with team members and clients. There are many ways to build good communication with co-workers and clients. One way is to take a few minutes to send an email, give a call or send a text with updates about the project. Keeping the other team members and clients in the loop about the current project stage not only helps maintain a positive relationship but is essential to effective project management. In addition to keeping team members informed, it is equally important to listen actively when communicating with them. Active listening means making a conscious effort to hear and interpret what the speaker is saying. It is an essential tool for fostering open communication and building robust professional relationships. Another way to establish a cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is to practice empathy. By putting yourself in the other peoples' shoes and understanding their point of view, it is possible to build trust and establish a rapport that leads to effective communication. Empathy is also an important trait to have when working on projects, and it can be essential for identifying and addressing any concerns the team may have. Setting realistic expectations and following through on commitments is another key to maintaining strong professional relationships. Establishing clear timelines and keeping the team and clients informed of the progress of the project can help to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications. Furthermore, it shows that the project management team is committed to delivering quality work on time. In conclusion, maintaining positive and cooperative relationships with co-workers and clients is essential to quality project management. Good communication is the key to building these relationships, and communicating through various channels, such as emails, texts, and phone calls, is necessary to keep all stakeholders informed. Active listening, empathy, setting expectations and following through on commitments are all essential skills that can help to establish and maintain strong professional relationships. Remember, effective project management is about more than just getting the job done; it is also about building and maintaining relationships that enable everyone to work efficiently and effectively.

As a project manager, your reputation is on the line with every project you oversee. To ensure that you are consistently delivering quality work, it is essential to create an atmosphere of responsibility in your team. Whether you're just beginning your career as a project manager or are a seasoned professional, the following tips will help you achieve this goal. Firstly, it is important to establish clear roles and expectations for each member of your team. This will help everyone understand their individual responsibilities and what is expected of them in terms of contributing to the project's success. Being transparent with your team members will give them a sense of ownership to execute their tasks with care and consideration. Secondly, it's important to conduct periodic check-ins with individual team members to evaluate their progress and provide them with feedback. Frequent communication will allow for any issues to be addressed promptly, and it will also ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the project's progress. Another key aspect of creating responsibility in project management is to lead by example. As the project manager, your actions will significantly impact your team's behavior. When your team sees that you are taking responsibility for your work, they will be more likely to do the same. It's also essential to demonstrate integrity and honesty in all of your dealings. Additionally, making sure that everyone has access to project-related data is important. This equates to having a clear understanding of what is happening on the project in real-time. Evidently, regular updates, progress reports and status updates will work best for all stakeholders. Finally, the most crucial element of ensuring responsibility in project management is developing a team culture based on accountability. To achieve this, you should strive to create an environment that encourages your team members to take ownership of their work, hold themselves accountable for their actions, and commit to doing their best to achieve excellent results. In conclusion, project management is not easy, and it requires an excellent level of commitment and responsibility. It is vital to establish clear goals and expectations, monitor progress consistently, take responsibility for your own work, and lead by example. By doing this, you will cultivate a team culture of responsibility that will lead to successful projects and a successful career as a project manager. Remember, ultimately your name is on your work, and your reputation hangs on your ability to be a responsible and capable project manager.

In conclusion, mastering the three R's of Project Management (time, relationships, and responsibility) is essential to ensure project success. Time management skills ensure timely delivery of the project, developing positive relationships with team members and stakeholders improve collaboration and communication, and taking responsibility can foster a sense of ownership and accountability. These skills also translate well into other areas of life. Remember, managing projects can be challenging, but developing these skills can go a long way in making the process smoother for everyone involved. So, start mastering these R's today and take your projects to the next level!

About Eric

Eric Huber, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Owner of Blue Zoo Creative has 35 years in marketing, advertising, and graphic design for small businesses, a Fortune 100 company, and international organizations.

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