Ogilvy Personality

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Daivd Ogilvy's quirky personality.
Excerpted from the book, "The King of Madison Avenue" by Kenneth Roman

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Ogilvy Personality

  1. 1. David Ogilvy – The Personality Excerpted from ʻThe King Of Madison Avenueʼ by Kenneth Roman
  2. 2.   Ogilvy was proud of his Scottish heritage and like the idea of being a Scot, but seldom visited the country. When the Chicago office greeted him with bagpipers, he protested: “Shut down that awful sound. Thatʼs the reason I left Scotland.” 1 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  3. 3. At black-tie events, he might show up in a kilt. “Perhaps a bit of self-advertisement. If you canʼt advertise yourself, what hope do you have of being able to advertise anything else?” 2 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  4. 4. Never a good student, Ogilvy critiqued the education at one of his schools. “The masters have to cram you full of facts, so that you can pass those odious examinations. This is like cramming corn down the throat of a goose to enlarge his liver. It may produce excellent pate de foie gras, but it does the goose no permanent good.” 3 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  5. 5. When he came in late to a class at Oxford and the professor stopped speaking, to call attention to him, Ogilvy broke the silence: “If you insult me again, I will not return to this class.” 4 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  6. 6. As a salesman of high-priced cooking stoves, told the stove could not cook pancakes, he poured batter in a frying pan and cooked one side. When it came time to turn the pancake over, he threw it high in the air – a kitchen brigade of 18 chefs watching – put the frying pan behind his back, caught it flat in the pan, and fell to the floor. And saved the sale. 5 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  7. 7. Meeting the novelist and lawyer Louis Auchincloss in New York, having never really worked in advertising, he asked, “Tell me, are there any statutes or laws in this country that require advertising to be boring?” 6 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  8. 8. When he spotted his client Helena Rubinstein getting out of her car near a puddle, he ran across the street to lay his jacket down for her to walk on. 7 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  9. 9. When the red-bearded Commander Whitehead, the President of Schweppes USA and the model in Schweppes advertising, asked if one scene made him look like a rabbi, Ogilvy agreed that could be the case if people didnʼt read the headline under the photo. “Who ever heard of a rabbi named Commander Whitehead?” 8 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  10. 10. After doing brilliant advertising for Rolls- Royce, he resigned the account and gave his reasons pressure from the dealers to advertise like Buick, the companyʼs “scandalous” service, and its tendency to make “lemons.” 9 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  11. 11. To win an assignment from Armstrong Cork, Ogilvy wangled an invitation to speak from the pulpit of an old Presbyterian church near the Armstrong factory, knowing its Scottish chairman would be in the congregation. He sang the praises of “Scotland, my native country,” (he was born in England) and won the account. 10 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  12. 12. An associate told Ogilvy he found his book Confessions of an Advertising Man in a Paris bookstore, in the erotica section, next to The Story of O. “There is much to be gained from a headline,” replied the author. 11 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  13. 13. Marion Harper, the brilliant chairman of Interpublic wooed Ogilvy and tried to buy his agency, playing on their shared background in research. Invited to watch commercials while a camera focused on his eyes, measuring whether the pupils expanded or contracted, Ogilvy said “Itʼs quite marvelous, but what do you do when the eyes are closed?” 12 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  14. 14. In 1982, the French magazine Expansion named 30 men who contributed most to the Industrial Revolution, along them Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, John Maynard Keyes, Alfred Krupp, Lenin, Karl Marx, and, in seventh place, David Ogilvy: “the Pope of modern advertising.” Ogilvy reported this to his fellow directors, concluding: “Will the College of Cardinals please come to order?” 13 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  15. 15. Discussing which of two commercials to show first to a client, Ogilvy told the agency team: When I was a boy, I always saved the cherry for last. Then, one day, my sister stole it. From then on, I always ate the cherry first. Letʼs play the best commercial first.” The client liked the first commercial. 14 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  16. 16. Ogilvy routinely worked in the office until 7 pm, then packed his unfinished business into two briefcases to finish at home. “This weekend I went over 375 pieces of paper. The Duke of Wellington never went home until he had finished all the work on his desk.” 15 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  17. 17. Talking about his (unsuccessful) autobiography, Blood, Brains and Beer: “When you write a book about advertising, youʼre competing with midgets. When you write an autobiography, youʼre competing with giants.” 16 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  18. 18. David George Patrick Ogilvy, the head of Clan Ogilvy in Scotland, saw his namesake walking down Madison Avenue and accosted him: “I must introduce myself. My name is David Ogilvy.” Quick as a flash came the reply: “Nice to meet you. Whatʼs it like to be mistaken for me? 17 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  19. 19. Coming to the end of a talk, the applause struck Ogilvy as insufficient. So he made a slight upward gesture with his hands, prompting the audience to rise to its feet and express more enthusiasm. The press reported “a standing ovation.” 18 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  20. 20. After many years, Cunard Lines moved from Ogilvyʼs agency to Ted Bates, run by his brother-in-law Rosser Reeves. When he saw proofs of the Bates campaign, almost identical to his except for the headline, he told Reevesʼ secretary they arrived just in time, that he was editing his new book and adding a chapter on plagiarism. 19 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  21. 21. When Ogilvy & Mather had grown and acquired other agencies under different names, Ogilvy reacted to a proposal to change the name of the parent company. “Itʼs a terrible mistake to change a companyʼs name. I will fight it with every ounce of my breath. But if you do change it, you donʼt need Mather.” 20 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  22. 22. Asked to consider playing the lead in a Broadway play, Ogilvy explained, “I turned it down. The play failed.” 21 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  23. 23. Many visitors came to his grand chateau in France, which included an anachronistic swimming pool. “Is this where you practice walking on water?” asked an irreverent colleague. A short beat, “I donʼt practice.” 22 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  24. 24. Following a hostile takeover of his agency, Ogilvy was in the audience when the chairman of the acquiring company was asked what was next after buying J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather. He had completed his goals, was the answer, and planned no further acquisitions. From the middle of the audience came a stage-whispered comment from the founder: “Just like bloody Hitler after Czechoslovakia.” 23 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  25. 25. Longevity fascinated Ogilvy, who railed about “the conspiracy against old men.” He collected stories of people who were productive in the 80s and 90s, such as Konrad Adenauer. “He was 87 when he gave up the job as boss of Germany. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.” 24 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  26. 26. Before his memorial service, O&M directors gathered for lunch and traded “David” stories. Hans Lange, who ran the agency in Germany, had assumed that position as a young man. Ogilvy agreed to spend a few days a week in Frankfurt to guide the younger man, and was given an office next to Lange. Lange noted cigars were disappearing from the box behind his desk and left a note in the box: “David, if you want a cigar let me know and Iʼll get you some.” The next day, the note was gone, a new one in its place: “Hans, it wasnʼt me.” 25 Buy The King Of Madison Avenue by Kenneth Roman on Amazon: http://bit.ly/x78xe Join The King of Madison Avenue on Facebook: http://bit.ly/119evw
  27. 27. ank you Excerpted from ʻThe King Of Madison Avenueʼ by Kenneth Roman

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