Tag Archives: David Ogilvy

When all you can do is play the ball that is bowled to you

To many of us, especially those of us who lived through those days, the TV series Mad Men has been essential viewing. We have come to know the character Don Draper, played by John Hamm, like a friend. And now, this week, Hamm’s new film Million Dollar Arm has come to London. And it’s about cricket! Wahaay! Have the Americans seen the light?

Now, if you don’t play cricket, I am sorry. Please bear with me. Who knows, the lesson in this post might change your life, just as a cricket ball can end it. Read more on When all you can do is play the ball that is bowled to you…

It may be right. It may be good. But is it interesting?

FIRST PUBLISHED ON The Wall 25 July 2014

David Ogilvy said this about advertising:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

Here is the same mantra with the key word underlined by me:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

As my advertising career began with Ogilvy, I have been interested in ‘interesting’ for a very long time.

In today’s world, is advertising interesting? Read more on It may be right. It may be good. But is it interesting?…

What Sir Alex Ferguson could learn from David Ogilvy

Who am I to add to the extraordinary volume of news articles about the sacking of David Moyes as manager of the Manchester United football team? On the Telegraph website alone there have been over 60 articles on this subject in the four days 22-24 April.

David Moyes predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, is universally acknowledged to have been a master of his craft.

However, as someone who is not ‘a football man’, my abiding image of Sir Alex Ferguson is of him, after a game, gobbing a huge wad of chewing gum onto the revered Old Trafford turf before strutting into a post-match interview to complain about the ref. Couth? Not. Read more on What Sir Alex Ferguson could learn from David Ogilvy…

Go Home vans: how the UK Government ignored the most basic law of advertising

A Different Hat

The Rt Hon Theresa May, Secretary of State for the Home Office has announced that she wishes to create a ‘hostile environment‘ for illegal migrants to Britain. But early attempts to do this run the risk of alienating those of us who have every right to be here.

In July, the Home Office, led by Ms May, launched an advertising campaign against illegal immigrants to the UK. The chosen message was as follows: Read more on Go Home vans: how the UK Government ignored the most basic law of advertising…

Branding: understanding the importance of trust

When I joined the advertising business, there was a new buzzword called ‘marketing’. Few knew what it meant. At Ogilvy & Mather, where my career was born, we had a guy – yes, one person in the whole agency – whose job was to explain this new concept to our clients.

Read more on Branding: understanding the importance of trust…

A creative insight into the Euro crisis

We are surrounded by news of the Eurozone. But what positive solutions have we offered by way of Big Society neighbourly help? Or have we just covered our own backsides?

I am proud that our country punches above its weight in creative talent. In technology, music, drama, film, television, comedy and, yes, advertising, Great Britain is a creative force.

Have we mobilised this talent? Can we help by finding a creative solution to this crisis? In this spirit, I would like to offer some ‘upstream’ creative thinking of my own. Read more on A creative insight into the Euro crisis…

The affliction of intellectuals who see all sides of an argument

Last week, I read the obituary of former Cabinet Minister, Sir Timothy Raison. He served under Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, apparently ‘gaining a reputation as the keeper of the party’s conscience on such issues as immigration, refugees, child benefit and social policy’. Bigots would instantly dismiss him as ‘Tory’. To me, it seems he was a good man. My condolences to his friends and family.

One particular sentence in his obituary resonated with me:

‘he suffered from that common affliction of intellectuals: the ability to see all sides of an argument’.

Early in my career, I worked with people like this. They are not evil. Nor do they mean any harm. In fact, as Sir Timothy appears to have been, they may even be kind, considerate and well meaning.

But they can be a nightmare to work with. Read more on The affliction of intellectuals who see all sides of an argument…

NHS – a ‘sick’ future

I have a dilemma. As ‘A Different Hat’ on www.BrandRepublic.com, this is my 100th post.

So I want to make it really special. I want to write about the NHS. Because the NHS is really, really special. And I have an ‘upstream’ creative solution that may secure its future.

But when I saw a full-page article on the NHS this week, even I could not face reading a full page of political treacle. This is my dilemma.

So here goes.

I know a lot about the NHS – personally and professionally. I was paid to do a project on the NHS brand. A summary of my solution is on Page 5 of this document: A Different Hat.   Read more on NHS – a ‘sick’ future…

WPP’s cultural influence

In the 11 June Campaign feature on WPP’s 25th anniversary, and in the
editorial which discussed ‘why opinion will always be divided over Sorrell’,
one factor was not mentioned, but which I think is very important –
especially since the eruption of this horrendous and divisive BP crisis. 

Before WPP bought them, all of the four agency networks – JWT, Ogilvy,
Y&R and Grey – were American owned and managed out of the US.

Read more on WPP’s cultural influence…

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