Ogilvy Mather

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Over the holidays, I relocated my office a few doors down the hallway in order to accommodate some staff changes. While cleaning out a bookcase, I came across a 1991 edition of Courier, the in-house newsletter for Ogilvy & Mather Direct. I had saved it because it was chock full of great tips on Client Service and reminded me of how much I had learned during my days at OMD.

According to final results from a new Ogilvy-ChatThreads study of restaurant consumers, individuals exposed to social content are significantly more likely to increase their spending and consumption than those who aren't exposed. There was a 2-7x greater likelihood of higher spending or consumption depending on the media encountered by the study group.  The sales impact was most pervasive when social content was combined with other types of media such as PR, out-of-home and TV.

Take just a moment to read “IN THE NEWS” at right. It contains the entire text of a full-page ad for a Honda car in The New York Times Magazine, a jumbo size 8-3/4” x 10-3/4” Sunday supplement.

Now click on the first illustration at right in the media player and you can see the layout.

The type: 12-point for the subhead in mid-page and 8-point body copy—a teeny, unreadable band of copy across the middle of the page.

Cost of the ad: $107,075.

This Honda ad is a lame attempt to capture the consumer’s attention with a single, ill-written unique selling proposition (USP) that is the entire premise of the ad:

“The Acura car is very quiet.”

The ad breaks every rule in the book.

In his first book, "Confessions of an Advertising Man," David Ogilvy wrote: "Unless your advertising is based on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night." To which I add, "And in direct marketing, your ship will sink."

In his first book, "Confessions of an Advertising Man," David Ogilvy wrote: "Unless your advertising is based on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night." To which I add, "And in direct marketing, your ship will sink."

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