Quotes + Thoughts | Ogilvy on understanding your audience

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The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.” 
~ David Ogilvy [1911 – 21, 1999], the original “Mad Man”


PhotobucketConfessions of an Advertising Man was written by Ogilvy in 1963 and is still considered one of the best books on advertising there is. It may be a little dated, but the lessons Ogilvy shares in his book is as valid today as his early days when he whipped up advertising taglines, copy and print ads that became modern pop culture legends.

His “Man in the Hathaway Shirt” ad’s were iconic, the first “Worlds Most Interesting Man” ad’s if you will… Other ads such as the Schweppes’ Commander Edward Whitehead, with his beard and thirst for ginger ale and the Rolls-Royce slogan “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”


The C.F. Hathaway Company was founded in 1837 in Waterville, Maine, manufacturing shirts for soldiers in the Civil War. According to advertising legend, Mr. Ogilvy was inspired to create the “man with the eyepatch” campaign by a photograph of Lewis Williams Douglas, an American diplomat, politician and businessman who had lost an eye in a fishing accident. The model who appeared in the actual ads was Baron George Wrangell, a Russian aristocrat. Wrangell had two functioning eyes and perfect vision, but he apparently loved to drink, which caused his hands to shake during photo shoots for the ads. An apparatus was used to keep him steady in front of the camera.

Hathaway closed its Maine factory in 2002, effectively making it the last major American company to make shirts in the United States.


He isn’t as celebrated today as Bill Bernbach, whose Volkswagen “Lemon” ad (featured below) was featured in Mad Men in multiple episodes. But Ogilvy certainly changed the face of advertising.


Inspiration: I3, Pag’s Page, George Hahn, Dani Bordiniuc, The Inspiration Room


About dianhasan

Brand Storyteller, Travel Writer, Speaker, Creative Writer & Thinker - avid observer of randomness in everyday life - Sustainable Business, Eco Matters, Sustainable Urban Issues, Architecture, Heritage Conservation, Innovation & Brand-Strategy, Cross-Cultural Communications, Travel, Tourism & Lifestyle.
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