• David de Souza

Ogilvy on Advertising

Updated: Jun 15


Ogilvy is like a strict but fair father figure. In this book, he passes on his inheritance to you, the lessons he learned through many years of experimentation and testing.

Want to dig deeper than the core principles? Check out:



Core Principles


I have taken the lessons from this book and distilled them into 8 core principles:


  1. Tell clients about your weaknesses before they are noticed. It will make you more trustworthy and your strong points more believable.

  2. Finding the most effective promise is the best use of research. Show people a number of promises and say they are for different products. Ask them to rate for importance and uniqueness.

  3. Big ideas come from your subconscious. Stuff your mind with knowledge and then walk/relax.

  4. The most important sentence in the book: Ads which offer no benefit do not sell

  5. Headlines that offer a benefit are remembered by 4x more people

  6. 5 x times more people read the headline vs the copy

  7. Use the following features in headlines: Promises/ News/ Long/ Specifics/ information/ flag/ quotes (FLIPS QN)

  8. People read/view an ad in the following order (so put them in this order): (1) Illustration (2) Headline (3) Copy




Let me know how these summaries can be improved? Contact me via Email (david@thisdomain.co) or on Twitter.



The 80/20 of Worldly Wisdom: