10 Bad Marketing Quotes from David Ogilvy

Here are 10 things that David Ogilvy says marketers should never do:
1. Be boring

The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore.

From a 1935 guide a 24-year-old David Ogilvy wrote for the entire staff of Aga Cooker salesmen)
2. Sling mud at competitors

On no account sling mud — it can carry very little weight, coming from you, and it will make the prospect distrust your integrity and dislike you.

(From a 1935 guide a 24-year-old David Ogilvy wrote for the entire staff of Aga Cooker salesmen.)
3. Write copy that lacks charm

It plods. Heavy as lead. The models — most of them — look like automobile dealers from South Dakota.

(From a note to Cliff Field, a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, June 11, 1965.)
4. Break a promise

Joel: I thought you promised to show me the Sears ads (with copy) last Tuesday. It is now three months since Struthers picked them. Longer than the period of gestation in pigs.

(From a handwritten note to Joel Raphaelson circa 1964)
5. Use jargon

A brand manager who recently left told the agency that he was pursuing a policy of PRE-EMPTIVE DIMENSIONALIZATION OF BETTERMENT.

(To Alex Biel, former Executive Director of The Ogilvy Center for Research & Development.)
6. Be a weasel merchant

We abhor buck passers, and people who don’t tell the truth.

(From a 1960 Christmas talk to staff members. (Weasel merchants are companies and advertisers who stretch the truth to sell.)
7. Feature self-justifying research

We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost — for support, but not for illumination.

(From David’s talk to the National Industrial Conference Board, April 1961.)
8. Write copy that fails to make the cash register ring

As a copywriter, what I want from the researchers is to be told what kind of advertising will make the cash register ring.

(From the 50th Anniversary Luncheon of the Advertising Research Foundation, March 18, 1986.)
9. Demonstrate incompetence in the advertising business

I look at an ad or commercial, all too many of the commercials in fact, and I say that is just an incompetent piece of work. The guy doesn’t know what he is doing.

(From an interview in Ogilvy & Mather’s quarterly employee publication ‘Viewpoint,’ circa 1986, when Ogilvy was 76.)
10. Be an obstinate creative person

Creative people who refuse to study the product or the research or to admit there’s more than one way to skin the cat.

(From an interview in Ogilvy & Mather’s quarterly employee publication ‘Viewpoint,’ circa 1986, when Ogilvy was 76.)
(via Copyblogger)

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