I’ve been a student of marketing since before I can remember, not a full time student you understand. But I remember as a child looking at advertising and wondering why certain things worked while others failed.
Later in life when I made marketing my career, I was pointed in the direction of David Ogilvy, by my first Marketing Director, and I’ve never looked back.
David has been described at the template for the characters in Mad Men, but that does him a disservice. David Ogilvy was a plain talking no nonsense genius at advertising and the art of persuasion. His book Ogilvy on Advertising, while now very dated (no web when it was written), still sits on my shelf and the ideas are still relevant to today’s marketing and advertising.
Some of the best advice he gives is on writing, something everyone assumes they can do. But it’s not as easy as it seems. I’m still learning and will continue to learn ‘til the end.
On September 7th, 1982, Ogilvy sent the following internal memo to all agency employees, titled “How to Write”:
The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.
Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.
Here are 10 hints:
Thanks to Brain Pickings for highlighting this memo.
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