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Who is David Ogilvy?

In 1962, Time magazine called David Ogilvy “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” He was an advertising executive and copywriter, and is known globally as one of history's greatest marketers.

Anybody looking to up his or her marketing game would to well to look in to Ogilvy's work. His quotes live on as hard rules for making the best of one's marketing and advertising:

  •  “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
  •  “I don't know the rules of grammar. If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.”
  •  “Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.”

His words live on like proverbs in the hearts of those who seek to succeed in marketing and advertising.

 

Carrying On His Legacy

For those with the aim to carry on his legacy, they would do well to take to heart the words in his note entitled How to Write Well. In it, he lists 10 rules of writing well: 

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious [person].
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

 

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