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David Ogilvy quotes for advertising

59+ David Ogilvy Quotes – Father of Advertising

David Ogilvy Father of Advertising Quotes:  Salesman Turned into Building Multi-million dollar Advertising Business.

What is a brand David Ogilvy?

In the beginning, there was one Ogilvy, the company founded by David Ogilvy in 1948. Today, there is again one Ogilvy, in 83 countries and 132 offices.

What is a brand David Ogilvy
What is a brand David Ogilvy


David Ogilvy also known as The Father of Advertising. 

I personally owe a debt of gratitude to David Ogilvy as a Content Marketer and Content Writer. Ogilvy’s advertising secrets still are relevant in 2021.

His advertising philosophies and valuable information shared in his books – Ogilvy on Advertising, Confessions of an Advertising Man.

Some of his most famous advertisements have strong legacies even today. And in many ways, is the roadmap to successful content marketing. 

Who is David Ogilvy?

David Ogilvy is an epitome of research, originality, and creativity. 

Great Ad-Men like David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach are constantly referenced in Mad Men. 

Born in 1911 in Surrey, England, Ogilvy began his professional sales marketing in 1932 selling AGA cooking stoves door-to-door sales. His success journey began something like this: One day his boss asked him to write an instruction manual, “The Theory and Practice of Selling the AGA Cooker,” which thirty years later, Fortune called The finest sales instruction manual ever written.” 

The finest sales instruction manual ever written
The finest sales instruction manual ever written

This is pretty much how David Ogilvy started his career: 

Anyone who is interested in getting into the advertising world especially in the creative department – Copywriter – Salesman in words, Modern Content Marketer and Strategist. Or anyone in this case who is eager to master the art of writing headlines. I would encourage you to read Ogilvy on Advertising, Confessions of Advertising Man, Blood, Brains and Beer, The Unpublished book it’s all around the web. 

Here are the links for the books – Download – Read the book – Writer better Copy. 

David Ogilvy clearly writes only about aspects of advertising. Which comes from his very own experience. 

David Ogivly started his stint in the advertising world as a researcher under Dr.Gallup at Princeton. Later he turned out to be a copywriter. The one and only creative hot-shot who started out into research. He looks into the creative function through the objective eyes of a researcher. 

I personally use David Ogilvy Quotes in my professional life and as in personal life. 

It is relevant, hard hitting and up to point. Which evokes the harsh truth and great insights above and beyond advertising. 

David Ogilvy Quotes which can be used in different ad agency scenarios. 

David Ogilvy Quotes – All Above & Beyond Advertising:

  • 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. 
  • The temptation to entertain instead of selling is contagious. 
  • Don’t let men write advertising for products which are brought by women. 
  • Good campaigns run for many years without losing their selling power. 
David Ogilvy Quotes
David Ogilvy Quotes

Make the product the hero

Only first-class business, and that in a first-class way’ 

The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her. 

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

advertising quotes
advertising quotes

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.

Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.

I have never sat down to write an advertisement without thinking THIS TIME I AM GOING TO FAIL


Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.

On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.

Inspiring David Ogilvy Quotes

My ads not only promised useful information, they provided it. And they worked – in many countries.

You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it.

david ogilvy quotes on advertising
David Ogilvy Quotes On Advertising

Keep It Simple, Stupid. KISS 

The eye is a creature of habit

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the park. Aim for the company of immortals. 

When your advertisement is to contain and you want the maximum returns, put it at the top, bang in the middle. This isn’t true today. Put your coupon bottom right. 

The common characteristic of success is the deliberate creation of corporate culture. 

Why do eight out of ten new consumer product fail? sometimes because they are too new. The first cold cereals were rejected by consumers.

Advertising Quotes By David Ogilvy

We like people who are honest in argument, honest with clients and above all, honest with consumers. 

We detest office politicians, toadies, bullies and pompous asses. We abhor ruthlessness. 

We sell – or else 

You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them in buying it. 

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


Any damn fool can put on a price reduction, but it takes brains and perseverance to create a brand. 

It pays to study the product before you writing your advertisements. 

David Ogilvy Quotes
David Ogilvy Quotes

The function of advertising is not to persuade people to try your product, but to persuade them to use it more often than other brands in their repertoire. 

Once a salesman, always a salesman

Managing an advertising agency is like managing any other creative organization- a research laboratory, a magazine, a architect’s office, a great kitchen. 

 Talent I believe is most likely to be found among non-conformists, discenters and rebels. 

Advertising is a business of words, but advertising agencies are infested with men and women who cannot write. They cannot write advertisements, and they cannot write any plan. They are as helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. 

Most original thinking isn’t even verbal – It requires “a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious.” 

Next to luck, fertility and midnight oil are the best weapons to use in hunting new business. 

Get the prospect to do most of the talking. The more you listen, the wiser he thinks you are. 

 I prefer the discipline of knowledge to the anarchy of ignorance. We pursue knowledge the way a pig pursues truffles. 

 The best way to increase the sale of a product is to improve the product. 

 I have come to regard advertising as part of the product, to be treated as a production cost, not a selling cost. 

You aren’t advertising to a standing army; you are advertising to a moving parade. 

Advertising Quotes

It is difficult to recognize a good idea. I shudder to think I rejected it. Research can’t help you much, because it cannot predict the cumulative value of an idea, and no idea is big unless it will work for thirty years. 

 If you want to be interesting, be interested. 

 If each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants. 

 Don’t count the people that you reach, reach the people who count. 

Never use jargon words reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of pretentious ass.

If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you been able to advertise anything else? 

 Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving. 

 What really decides consumers to buy is the content of your advertising not its form. 

You grow as fast as you deserve

 It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image.’

If you can’t be brilliant, be at least memorable.

 The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be. 

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.”

“You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the marketplace.”

“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”

 “The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.”

First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.

Life Advice Quotes

David Ogilvy, on the other hand, looked at each of his campaigns like his babies. He nurtured them, fought for them, helped them develop. And he produced some of the best-selling campaigns in the history of advertising.

What is David Ogilvy known for?

What is David Ogilvy known for
What is David Ogilvy known for

During his years as an advertising executive and copywriter, Ogilvy created some of the world’s most successful and iconic marketing campaigns, including the legendary Man in the Hathaway Shirt, plus notable efforts for Schweppes, Rolls-Royce, and the island of Puerto Rico, among many others.

Ogilvy was one of the pioneers of information-rich, “soft sell” ads that didn’t insult the intelligence of the prospect.

Ogilvy’s successful advertising campaigns demonstrate how to persuade prospects, influence readers, and create memorable, evergreen content.

But “The Father of Advertising” also has plenty to teach us about productivity, branding, research, and ambition which is still relevant at this time.


I have listed some of David Ogilvy’s most favourite campaigns which I admire about.

Best Selling Headline Of David Ogilvy's Copywriting Career
The Best Selling Headline Of David Ogilvy's Copywriting Career
The Best Selling Headline Of David Ogilvy's Copywriting Career
david ogilvy famous ads
Best Selling Headline Of David Ogilvy's

Get Birthday Wishes For Social Media Friend

My Confession as a Copywriter: 

The truth is, writing great copy takes time and energy. Some of the best copywriters will spend weeks just crafting the headline, and they might take months to write the body copy.

It’s not because the copywriter is slow. It’s because we (The Copywriter) know the importance of getting it right.

If you’re not already, follow Ogilvy & Mather on LinkedIn for more David Ogilvy quotes and industry insights–it’s one of my favorite LinkedIn pages.

If you want to craft headlines that sell, you’d better study David Ogilvy.

Thank you


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