• Josh Torres

Lessons from the Legendary David Ogilvy

Today I want to share with you the secrets (maybe not secrets), but techniques and lessons, that David Ogilvy used in his advertising.

For those of you that don't know, David Ogilvy was a LEGENDARY advertiser. He was known as "The Father of Advertising" and “The most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry". This was back in 1962, but his brilliance and lessons still resonate today. His techniques and strategies are still used by Fortune 500 companies to this date. Not bad for a guy that's been decades ahead of his time, huh? He's sold thousands of millions of dollars through advertising and today, I wanted to share with you 4 basic principles he used to write his advertising.

Creative brilliance:The truth is that copywriters need to think of brilliant ideas to advertise. They need to grab customers attention and sell them the product. He was bullish of what was called the “big idea,” one brilliant idea that would be central to each ad campaign.

Research: Ogilvy clearly states that he did not believe in "blowing smoke". His copy was based on hardcore facts. He researched extensively by talking to customers, reading books about the topic, magazines, studying the competition, to the extent that the copy basically wrote itself.

Actual Results: Ogilvy strongly believed in the quality of his copywriting by judging how well the ad actually performed. If something isn't working, don't be romantic about the copy, make the necessary changes to make the ad work.

Professional Discipline: Ogilvy believed that advertising executives were not to be dabblers in the creative realm. After learning the craft, the art of advertising, make sure you are teaching your students. Build a team of quality people, so they can advertise like a pro as well.

The Most Famous Headline in Advertising History

Back in the day, Rolls-Royce hired David Ogilvy to write a headline for their cars. It turned out to be the most famous headline in his career. It read like this:

“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

This is to illustrate the principles he used himself to promote his ads. Of course, to get to this level of advertising it takes long years of training & practicing, and even then, you may never get to that level. However, you can always get better by studying the principles the best advertisers used to sell their products.

If you have any questions or would like to hire me, email me back at I'm here to help.

Happy Friday!

Josh Torres


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