The unpublished David Ogilvy: still gold

unpublished David Ogilvy.jpgLooks like we stuck gold here in the land of ‘books of insights’ for the workplace. Published first in 1987, this 30-year-old gem still shines through all the changes the corporate world has seen. Just like Iacocca’s biography, Ogilvy also puts people first at the workplace; making this book very relevant today. Random takeaways-

On writing: Knowledge is useless unless you can put it down in writing. Avoid jargon, being boring, standard sales talk. The copy must be human and simple. Every word counts. Do your research on the client. Talk about your own company and what it can do for the client. Be definite, factual, tell the truth.Your ad has to carry the big idea, followed by position and promise. Write down every idea, and atleast 20 headlines. Edit ruthlessly, bring story appeal. People who think well, write well. Write the way you speak- naturally. Use short words, sentences and paragraphs.

On hiring: Be imaginative and unorthodox in your hiring. Character is the most important thing of all. Hire people who are better at things than you. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Never hire friends and relatives. Avoid negative people who spread gloom and negativity. Encourage people who bombard you with ideas.

On competition: Never mud-sling competition.Be a leader in your space. Let competitors follow you. Anyone can do a deal, but it takes time and guts to build a brand.

On clients: Earn their respect. That matters most.
At client meetings, do not assume the posture of a servant. Both need each other.
The consumer is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.

On leadership: A good leader must look confident at all times. Advertising from research give you an edge. Great professionals may not make great leaders.

Avoid excess in all things.
Hard work never killed anyone, boredom does.
Vacations are most important to charge the batteries.
Creative people do not have a monopoly of ideas. So create a culture where anyone can contribute.
Succeed in public, fail in private.
Have a divine discontent for your own performance. Its an antidote for smugness.

I think I found the Bible and handbook for advertising and messaging.