David Ogilvy Pipe

By Jonathan Wai

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.” — David Ogilvy

So advised “The Father of Advertising,” who had many jobs before founding Ogilvy & Mather, the famous advertising firm. He was a chef in Paris, a door-to-door salesman, a farmer, a social worker in the slums, and even conducted research in the movie industry — all of which taught him valuable lessons on how to sell.

He details his life adventures in “Confessions of an Advertising Man,” and even devotes one section on advice to the young. From this work, I have distilled six tips on how to rise to the top.

1. Be ambitious. But don’t let it show.

“After watching the careermanship of my own employees for 14 years, I have identified a pattern of behavior which leads rapidly to the top,” Ogilvy writes. “First, you must be ambitious, but you must not be so nakedly aggressive that your fellow workers rise up and destroy you. Tout soldat pone dans sa giberne le baton de marechal. Yes, but don’t let it stick out.”

2. Make work your hobby. 

In “My Life In Advertising,” the great advertising pioneer Claude Hopkins confessed: “I have always been an addict to work. I love work as other men love play.” Ogilvy also thought your work should be your hobby. In fact, he believed that making yourself an authority on a subject that your company knew very little about was a key to success.

For example, if your topic was gasoline, he recommended that you read books on the “chemistry, geology, and distribution of petroleum products,” as well as all the trade journals and research reports. You should then spend your weekend actually pumping gas at the service stations and talking with customers to learn their perspective. He advised that by doing this work, you would become more knowledgeable about this topic than your boss, and then would be prepared to succeed him.

“Most of the young [people] in agencies are too lazy to do this kind of homework. They remain permanently superficial.”

3. Work twice the number of hours as everyone else.

Ogilvy and Hopkins clearly made their work their lives, and they invested more hours than their colleagues. Hopkins, for example, “attributed his success to the fact that he worked twice as long hours as other copywriters, and thus made his way up the ladder at twice their speed.” Ogilvy notes: “In my bachelor days I used to work until the small hours. If you prefer to spend all your spare time growing roses or playing with your children, I like you better, but do not complain that you are not being promoted fast enough. Managers promote [those] who produce the most.”

Although Larry Page and Sergey Brin have recently discussed how workweeks could be shorter for many people, the Google heads themselves probably work more hours than most people are capable of. Putting in longer hours over a long stretch of time likely multiplies your output, like compound interest, and can also help you clock the estimated 10,000 hours you need to become an expert.

4. Use your vacations effectively. For example, read a book per day.

Ogilvy believed that one of the most revealing signs about a young person’s capacity is how they made use of their vacations. “Some fritter away those precious three weeks, while some get more out of them than all the rest of the year put together.” He offers some tips:

  • Don’t stay at home and putter around the house. You need a change of scene.
  • Take your [partner], but leave the children with a neighbor… Shut yourself off from exposure to advertising.
  • Take a sleeping pill every night for the first three nights.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • Read a book every day — 21 books in three weeks.
  • Broaden your horizons by going abroad… But don’t travel so much that you come back cross and exhausted.

5. Start as a specialist. This is the way to make your mark.

Ogilvy notes that most of the able young people who came into agencies (in 1963) were determined to be ad executives, most likely because this was what they were taught to value in business school. And yet, the heads of the six largest ad agencies in the world were all specialists, and none were account executives. Four were copywriters and one each in media and research.

“It is much more difficult to make your mark as an account executive than as a specialist, because it is rare for an account executive to have an opportunity to cover himself with glory; almost all the spectacular triumphs are performed by the specialists,” he said.

He felt that by specializing, the competition would be less, there would be more opportunities to rise above routine work, and one would acquire expertise which would ensure security, both psychological and financial.

6. Committees don’t lay the golden eggs.

In 1963, Ogilvy wrote: “Nowadays it is the fashion to pretend that no single individual is ever responsible for a successful advertising campaign. This emphasis on ‘team-work’ is bunkum — a conspiracy of the mediocre majority. No advertisement, no commercial, and no image can be created by a committee. Most top managements are secretly aware of this, and keep their eyes open for those rare individuals who lay golden eggs.”

Joshua Wolf Shenk recently argued in the New York Times that “the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness,” and instead advocated for the idea of a creative network or collaborative approach. Apparently 50 years later, the emphasis on collaboration and teamwork continues to be popular. But Ogilvy argued that creativity comes from the mind of the individual.

Article via businessinsider.com - Jonathan Wai, Ph.D., is a psychologist, writer, and research scientist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

africared

Meet the #AfricaRedAllStars!

Headed up Mpange Chapeshamano, this team focuses on liberating brands across Africa. With solid partnerships in over 16 markets, they ensure a seamless execution of campaigns for their clients, right from strategy development through to campaign execution. They have a clear understanding of the various African markets, a solid network of best of breed agencies in market and an effective project management model.

View some of their recent work below.

DStv Africa “Dr Turner Show”

Rationale
Given the increasing competitor activity in the Pay-TV category, client briefed the Africa Red team to create an advertising campaign which showcases DStv Africa’s superior content offering, whilst highlighting the weaknesses in competitors. Given the complexity and difference in nuances across Africa it was challenging to create a campaign which resonates across the continent. We therefore developed a character called Dr. Turner, who provides viewers with solutions towards their entertainment problems. “If it’s not DStv you are watching, just TURN IT OFF!” is his key message to all viewers out there.

Dr Turner 2

Dr Turner 1

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Theresho Selesho

The Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards take place next week Monday and Geometry Global’s Experiential Marketing Director, Theresho Selesho, is one of the judges. The awards recognise and encourage excellence and innovation in the field of business support for the arts.

Theresho is a dynamic young leader who is entirely driven by his passion for people, creativity, the arts, innovation, and business. At the age of 17, he was selected to represent South Africa at the “Presidential Classroom for Future World Leaders” in Washington DC.

In 2007 he obtained a degree in International Relations from the University of Pretoria but decided against joining the Diplomatic Core to focus on his passion of creativity and business.

As a young graduate, Theresho started working with the HilltopLive Group who own and produce large, iconic South African and International music productions such as the Annual OppiKoppi Festival, Campus Invasion tour, Old Mutual Picnic Concerts, DRUM Beat Music festival to name a few. He has also worked on large national festivals including MACUFE, National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, KKNK, Tribute Concert in Mamelodi and the Aardklop National Arts Festival.

Theresho also lives out his passion for music having worked with an eclectic mix of national and international artists such as Eagle Eye Cherry, Saul Williams, Groove Amada, Ismael Lo, Lira, Fokofpolisiekar, Black Coffee, Koos Kombuis and Stimela.

To see the 2014 BASA Awards finalists, click here.

Follow Theresho and BASA on Twitter.

Source: About The Awards