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  • Writer's pictureEdwina Walker


Updated: Jun 11, 2022

David Ogilvy was the founder of one of the largest international advertising agencies in the world and he is widely regarded as the "godfather of advertising' or the "father of advertising"

If you've ever taken a collegiate-level marketing class, then you've probably heard of him because his approach to advertising is still very relevant today!

With this post, I want to discuss 7 of his core principles of marketing because I think some of you will find them useful and applicable as you're thinking through your ad campaigns.

  1. GIVE THE FACTS--tell people exactly what you want to sell them and what's good about the product(s) from a factual perspective.

"like this product will give you better flavor, whiter clothes, more miles per gallon, a better complexion"..etc

2. BE TRUTHFUL--don't embellish or flat-out tell lies about your product or anything about your business in your ads. People will find out and will repay you by no longer shopping with you---and in the age of social media, they may blast your brand online.

3. BE HELPFUL: you can be helpful for helping prospective clients understand your products or by giving them valuable information and advice for free.

You can be help prospects the first way by by "including your selling promise in your headline. You can helpful the 2nd way by giving advice (free and valuable information) to your prospective/current how most food retailers include free recipes on their product boxes!

4. HAVE A BIG IDEA: he recommended that you center your marketing efforts around 1 main idea that will stick with people, instead of trying to market several different ideas. It's hard to explain this concept beyond what I just's easier to show you examples:

NIKE-" Just do it!

SNICKERS- You're not YOU when you're hungry

Wendys- Where's the Beef"

De Beers' A diamond is FOREVER

You get the drift lol

5. DON"T BE BORING- be interesting with your ad copy. Learn your target customer ( the avatar) and figure out what makes her tick...what would she be interested in and speak to those things.

Everyday I see ads online that are lackluster and flat...sometimes even 3-4 words...and then you're wondering why it isn't getting great results. As Ogilvy said, " if you want to be interesting, be interested." Put effort into what you're doing....don't just throw shit against the wall and hope it sticks because it never really does.

6. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER-This ties back into working through the customer avatar questions and really knowing the audience you want to reach. Use the language and imagery that will connect to your customer.

7. STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND- define your brand and stick with it. The brand that wants to sell to everyone, usually sells to no one. The better that you're able to establish a CLEAR brand identity, the more you'll connect with your target audience because they'll that you really understand them and their needs/desires.

I know this post is a little different than what I usually post, but I hope some of you find value in it and gets your wheels spinning!

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