Some good basic thinking.
At a used bookstore a few years ago, I bought a first edition of the 1963 classic Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. Neatly folded and tucked inside the book was this hand-typed memo on Diamond National Corporation letterhead:
Um, okay. So what?
The language in the memo seems quaint, but the tone is serious — R.F. wants George to read that book. His upcoming meeting with the boys in Dayton requires it.
The point is, the wisdom and advice in that book is no less relevant today than it was 50 years ago. You can learn most of what you need to know about marketing and advertising by reading a few books (see Sources below).
Seriously. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on online courses taught by greedy “thought leaders.” Products change, needs change, channels change, but the brain still works pretty much the same. Evolution doesn’t move that fast. The art of persuasion doesn’t either.
Another classic by David Ogilvy is Ogilvy on Advertising, first published in 1983. Despite a wall filled with books on marketing, this is my absolute favorite. I’ve read it cover-to-cover at least a dozen times, and I always learn something new. Most of the dim bulbs hawking miracle Facebook advertising tactics stole their material from this book.
Who is David Ogilvy?
David Mackenzie Ogilvy (23 June 1911 – 21 July 1999) was an advertising tycoon, founder of Ogilvy & Mather, and known as the father of advertising. Trained at the Gallup research organization, he attributed the success of his campaigns to meticulous research into consumer habits.
In 1962, Time magazine called David Ogilvy “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” During his years as an executive and copywriter, he created some of the world’s most successful and iconic marketing campaigns, including the legendary Man in the Hathaway Shirt, plus memorable campaigns for Schwepps, Rolls Royce, the island of Puerto Rico, and many others.
His best-selling book Confessions of an Advertising Man is one of the most popular and famous books on advertising. Based on this book, some people think that Ogilvy is the inspiration for Don Draper in the popular series Mad Men. Seriously? No way. George Lois maybe.