David Ogilvy quotes from a Copywriter

"Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science, and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process. You can help this process by going for a long walk, or taking a hot bath, or drinking half a pint of claret. Suddenly, if the telephone line from your unconscious is open, a big idea wells up within you."

"In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create."

"If you have all the research, all the ground rules, all the directives, all the data — it doesn’t mean the ad is written. Then you’ve got to close the door and write something — that is the moment of truth which we all try to postpone as long as possible."

"The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible."

"If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular."

"Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels."

"Do not … address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client."

"Never use tricky or irrelevant headlines… People read too fast to figure out what you are trying to say."

"It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea."

"Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image."

"On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."

"You now have to decide what 'image' you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place."

"First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it."

"I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive."

"The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife."

Curated by Grey Sergeant: PR, Brand & Social Communications.

PR, Brand & Social waffler. I communicate with consumers through many channels, including the modern-day language of #hashtag!

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