This post contains a 1,900 word ad called “How to create advertising that sells” that ran in newspapers in the 60’s and 70’s for Ogilvy & Mather.
Every one of the 38 strategies in this ad are still relevant today that you can use these tips in your business to create more effective advertising campaigns, and write more compelling copy that will ultimately improve your marketing and help you make more money. Included in this post is a high resolution graphic of the original ad that Oglivy & Mather created, as well as a text version of the ad below for easy reading. We have learned that the effect of your advertising on your sales depends more on this decision than on any other: how should you position your product?
Should you position Dove as a product for dry skin or as a product which gets hands really clean?
The results of your campaign depend less on how we write your advertising than how your product is positioned. It pays to promise a benefit which is unique and competitive, and the product must deliver the benefit your promise.
The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand gets the largest share of the market. It takes a BIG IDEA to jolt the consumer out of his indifference – to make him notice your advertising, remember it and take action. Ogilvy & Mather  has been conspicuously successful in doing this – for Pepperidge, Hathaway, Mercedes Benz, Schweppes, Dove and others. If your advertising looks ugly, consumers will conclude that  your product is shoddy and they will be less likely to buy it. At Ogilvy and Mather, we now give an annual award for the campaign which contributes the most to sales. Successful advertising sells the product without drawing attention to itself, it rivets the consumer’s attention on the product.
Any good agency knows how to position products for demographic segments of the market – for men, for young children, for farmers in the south, etc. But Ogilvy and Mather has learned that it often pays to position for psychological segments of the market. Our Mercedes-Benz advertising is positioned to fit non-conformists who scoff at “status symbols” and reject flim-flam appeals to snobbery.
It is easier to interest the consumer in a product when it is new than at any other point in its life.
It pays to boil down your strategy to one simple promise – and go the whole hog in delivering that promise. Commercials using on-camera voice do significantly better than commercials using voice over. Give your commercials a flourish of singularity, a burr that will stick in the consumer’s mind.

The consumer can not identify herself with the character in the cartoon and cartoon’s do not invite belief. However, Carson-Roberts, our partners in Los Angeles, tell us that animation can be helpful when you are talking to children. However, Ogilvy & Mather has made some emotional commercials, which have been successful in the marketplace. We have found that commercials with an exciting opening hold their audience at a higher level than commercials which begin quietly.
It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your money.
The consumer is always on the lookout for new products or new improvements in an old product, or new ways to use an old product. In headline tests conducted with cooperation from a big department store, it was found that headlines of 10 words or longer sold more goods than short headlines. When you advertise your product which is consumed by a special group, it pays to flag that group in your headline – mothers, bedwetters, going to Europe? Readership falls off rapidly up to 50 words, but drops very little between 50 and 500 words (this page contains 1,909 words, and you are reading it). Ogilvy & Mather has used long copy – with notable success – from Mercedes Benz, Cessna Citation, Merrill Lynch, and Shell Gasoline. Ogilvy & Mather has gotten noticeable results with photographs, which suggest the story. Harold Rudolph called this magic element “story appeal.” The more of it you inject into your photograph, the more people look at your advertisements. Ogilvy & Mather has found that photographs work better than drawing – almost invariably.
They attract more readers, generate more appetite appeal, are more believable, are better remembered, pull more coupons, and sell more merchandise.
On the average, twice as many people read the captions under photographs as read the body copies.
It follows that you should never use a photograph without putting a caption under it; and each caption should be a miniature advertisement for the product – complete with the brand name and promise. Garin Kilpatrick is an Internet business developer, adventurer, renegade, social media strategist, and the founder of this blog! How To Get Lots of Readers Workshop – Practical action steps to get lots of readers, plus a free publicity and marketing plan.
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The reader glances at the photograph and asks himself, “what goes on here?” Then he reads the copy to find out. Now you don’t even have to go to the expense of printing to make money from your magazine, so you are making money from space!
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