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Monday, October 12th, 2009 | Author:

http://www.designlessbetter.com/blogless/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/ogilvy.gif

Want to share this person’s thoughts, which I agree mostly.

I wish I could be with you today, in the flesh as they say. Unfortunately, I’m in India. Ever been in India? It’s very hot. If you don’t mind, I’m going to take off my coat.

You know, in the advertising community today, there are two worlds — your world of direct response advertising, and that other world, the world of general advertising.

These two worlds are on a collision course. You direct response people know what kind of advertising works and what doesn’t work. You know it to a dollar. The general advertising people don’t know.

You know that too many commercials on television are more effective — more cost effective — than 10 second commercials or 30 second commercials. You know that fringe time on television sells more than prime time. In print advertising, you know that long copy sells more than short copy. You know, that headlines and copy about the product and its benefits sell more than cute headlines and poetic copy. You know it to a dollar.

The general advertisers and their agencies know almost nothing for sure because they cannot measure the results of their advertising. They worship at the alter of creativity, which really means originality, the most dangerous word in the lexicon of advertising. They opine that 30-second commercials are more cost effective than two-minute commercials. You know they’re wrong.  In print advertising, they opine that short commercials (whoever prepared the teleprompter presentation goofed, obviously he meant ads) sell more than long copy. You know they’re wrong. They indulge in entertainment. You know they’re wrong. You know to a dollar. They don’t.

Why don’t you tell them?

Why don’t you save them from their follies?

For two reasons:

First, because you are impressed by the fact they are so big and so well paid and so well publicized. You are even, perhaps, impressed by their reputation for creativity, whatever that may mean. Second, you never meet them. You inhabit a different world. The chasm between direct response advertising and general advertising is wide.

On your side of the chasm, I see knowledge and reality. On the other side of the chasm, I see ignorance. You are the professionals. This must not go on. I predict that the practitioners of general advertising are going to start learning from your experience. They’re going to start picking your brains. I see no reason why the direct response divisions of agencies should be separate from the main agencies. Some of you may remember when television agencies were kept separate. Wasn’t that idiotic? I expect to see the direct response people become an integral part of all agencies. You have more to teach them than they have to teach you. You have it in your power to rescue the advertising business from its manifold lunacies.

When I was 25, I took a correspondence course in direct mail. I bought it out my own pocket from the Dardanelle Corporation in Chicago. Direct response is my first love, and later it became my secret weapon. When I started a Ogilvy & Mather in New York, nobody had heard of us, but we were airborne within six months and grew at record speed. How did we achieve that? By using my secret weapon, direct mail.

Every four weeks, I sent personalized mailings to our new business prospects, and I was always amazed to discover how many of our clients had been attracted to Ogilvy & Mather by those mailings. That was how we grew.

Whenever I look at an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper, I can tell at a glance whether the writer has had any direct response experience. If he writes short copy or literary copy, it is obvious that he has never had the discipline to write direct response. If he has had that discipline, he wouldn’t make those mistakes. Nobody should be allowed to create general advertising until he has severed his apprenticeship in direct response. That experience will keep his feet on the ground for the rest of his life.

You know the trouble with many copywriters and general agencies is that they don’t really think in terms of selling. They’ve never written direct response, they’ve never tasted blood. Until recently, direct response was the “Cinderella” of the advertising world. Then came the computer and the credit card, and direct marketing exploded. You guys are coming into your own. Your opportunities are colossal. In the audience today, there are heads of some general agencies. I offer you this advice; insist that all your people, creative, media, account executives, that they’re all trained in your direct response division. If you don’t have such a division, make arrangements with a firm of directing marketing specialist to train your people. And make it a rule in your agency that no copy is ever presented to clients before it has been vetted by a direct response expert.

Ladies and gentlemen, I envy you. Your timing is perfect. You’ve come in the direct response business at the right moment in history. You’re on to a good thing.

For 40 years, I’ve been a voice crying in the wilderness, trying to get my fellow advertising practitioners to take direct response seriously. Today, my first love is coming into its own. You face a golden future.

David Ogilvy’s interview

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Author:

Wherever I go and hear people talking about India Inc, the first thing I hear is “INDIA is the biggest growth market, next only to CHINA.” I do feel proud, as rest of my compatriots …. But, then I ask, why next to China? Why not the leading growth market? I believe that India has enough potential to overtake China in its pursuit for growth. Well, at least one person tends to agree with me on that respect. And, that person is none other than the CEO of the Google Inc, Eric Schmidt!!! In a statement made in 2006 (I know it seems slightly outdated, but India’s prospects haven’t changed in these years, have they?), he had emphasized that it is India and not China that is set to become the world’s biggest Internet market over the next five to ten years!!

INDIA – Where is the growth on the Internet?
I know you will be asking yourself (or me), if the above statement is true then – WHERE is the growth? India seems to be a rising star for the Internet but where is the presence of Indian companies on the net? When I go and search on the Google search engine, hardly do I see ads of Indian companies being displayed on the Google search page. Neither have I seen Indian companies utilizing one crucial tool offered by the web – Internet Marketing!! What to say of others, even the top Indian companies (the so called big wigs) are ignoring this powerful tool that can significantly enhance the visibility of these top-notch firms on the web. This is particularly disturbing given the fact that India has its share of high-quality Internet Marketing providers. And, these providers are increasingly being used by companies from world over to improve their net presence and customer awareness….

Popularity of Internet Marketing – The STATS
In fact, Internet Marketing is gaining strength over the other marketing media the world over. See the facts!! The Nielsen Monitor-Plus survey for 2007 (the year when cash crunch hit the US by force!!) has indicated that while the advertising spending in the country grew by just 0.6%, Internet ad spending rose by 18.9%. Don’t think I am US-centric. The rise in Internet marketing is not just limited to the US but is a phenomenon that is being seen in Europe and the UK. In fact, analysts in the UK are predicting that Internet will overtake television as the biggest advertising medium in 2009. Amazing, isn’t it? Or, is it “YAWN!! O come on Shalini, we have had enough of the stats! Can we now come to the punch line?”

Attitude of Indian Companies on Internet Marketing
Ok, so here I do. Let me get back to where I started. Where is India on the Internet Marketing scene? Except for being a country housing some of the most remarkable Internet Marketing providers, it is nowhere close to using this entire exciting marketing concept. When it comes to corporate biggies, they are spending millions on television, radio and even newspaper marketing, but when it comes to Internet Marketing, all they come up with is “This concept is interesting. We can use it later maybe but now, in this cash crunched market, we are not sure whether this we are ready for this!!” The difference in the marketing attitude of the cash-crunched West and the on-the-growth-radar India is palpable. And, so is the visibility and brand identity of Indian companies, which beyond doubt produce better products and services than their Western counterparts, but fall far behind in popularity and demand!! Need I say more on where India stands on the Internet and what it is missing?

I will be back with what Internet Marketing can do to our Indian companies, irrespective of their size, in my next blog!! Till then, cio.

Thursday, February 05th, 2009 | Author:

Everytime I switch on TV, there are more ads than programs. Sometimes it is even more interesting than watching a TV program. Sometimes, it is not. The interesting thing is there are many ads that are really interesting or meaningful or reflective of a deeper meaning. We notice some, forget some and love some.  Here are just a few that I have grown to love:

  • HDFC Standard life insurance with the slogan, “Sar  utha ke jiyo ” which is a very touching ad about an aged couple learning to grow old and financially independent with dignity – the dream in every middle class Indian family.
  • Bank of India’s piggy bank ad is one that truly tugs my heart.

  • Naukri’s famous Hari Sadu ad is so mean and hilarious that no one can forget it.
  • Fevicol ads are so funny and creative though we haven’t seen too many being ‘revised’ or ‘rehashed’ or updated as often as we would love to. The new one with Katrina in it was no fun at all.
  • HCL ad with the slogan, “technology that touches lives” is quite unrealistic and exaggerated.
  • Pears soap ad which featured a little girl closing her eyes and wanting to open it only when she can see her mom because her mom is her lucky talisman. I love this ad.
  • Sprint ads are so funny and clear headed. The “Bheja fry” ad is just awesome!
  • HSBC egg ad where you have a home maker making egg differently for different members of the family and then using an egg to put in her hair. It’s an ad conveying that different people have different needs.
  • Tata Sky Plus ad which features Aamir Khan and Gul Panag as a married couple with Aamir pretending to the dishes and grocery shopping for his wife and the clinch is what gets you at the end of the ad.

Tell me, which ones are your favorite ads?