Ogilvy On Advertising By David Ogilvy Summary

Ogilvy On Advertising By David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy was one of the most influential figures in the world of advertising. His book, Ogilvy on Advertising, is a collection of his thoughts and observations on the industry.

Ogilvy was a strong believer in the power of advertising to persuade and influence people. He believed that it was important to target the right audience with the right message. He also believed in the importance of creativity in advertising.

The book is divided into four parts:


(1) Ogilvy’s basic principles
(2) the organization and management of an advertising agency
(3) the creative process
(4) case histories of successful campaigns

The first part, on principles, includes such chapters as “The Consumer Is Not a Moron, She’s Your Wife” and “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Ogilvy stresses the importance of research, planning, and attention to detail in advertising. He also emphasizes the need to understand the consumer and to create ads that are interesting and informative.

Some of the basic principles of advertising according to Ogilvy are:

  • A clear and concise message
  • A focus on the benefits of the product or service
  • An appeal to the target audience
  • A call to action


2nd Part deals with the organization and management of an advertising agency. Ogilvy discusses the importance of hiring the right people and of providing them with the resources they need to do their jobs. He also describes the agency’s creative process and the role of the account executive in ensuring that the client’s objectives are met.

Finally, the Third Section, on the creative process, includes chapters on copywriting, art direction, and research. Ogilvy discusses the importance of creativity in advertising and provides tips on how to generate creative ideas. He also describes the role of research in the creative process and discusses the use of focus groups and surveys.

How To Generate Creative Ideas:

  • Stimulate your mind with new experiences
  • Be persistent and don’t give up
  • Be curious and ask questions
  • Be open-minded and embrace new ideas
  • Be flexible and willing to change
  • Be organized and keep track of your ideas
  • Be passionate about your work

The fourth section consists of case histories of successful campaigns. Ogilvy discusses the campaigns for clients such as Rolls-Royce, Shell, and Schweppes. He describes the thinking behind the campaigns and the results that were achieved.

Key Focuses:

  • Understanding the consumer
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Copywriting
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Timing
  • Public Relations
  • Salesmanship

About The Author

David Ogilvy was a British advertising executive and founder of the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather.

He is often referred to as “The Father of Advertising.”

Ogilvy was born in West Horsley, Surrey, England in 1911. He was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland and at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. In 1938, he moved to the United States and began working in the advertising industry.

In 1948, Ogilvy founded his own advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. The agency became one of the largest and most successful in the world.

Ogilvy wrote several books on advertising, including Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963) and Ogilvy on Advertising (1983). He died in 1999 at the age of 88.

Give us 1 week in your inbox & we will make you a better copywriter

Each week we share exclusive "Newsletter Only" insights to help you convert better.