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December 28, 2015
Ogilvy's Tips On Winning Ad Campaigns
 
As the end of the year approaches, AdLand gets more introspective about how it is going to operate in the future. What big things will happen in advertising in the next year? Will brands add more money to digital rather than traditional? Will online video be the biggest section of online advertising? How will programmatic advertising fit in the advertising picture? Will Congress pass the bill that will no longer exclude advertising expenses from being counted in taxes?

Will we see more creativity in the industry?

No one knows exactly what will happen in the upcoming months, but one thing is sure: Basic advertising fundamentals continue to hold true. One such list of fundamentals comes from David Ogilvy's 1963 book Confessions from an Advertising Man. A while back, we shared content from a memo that Ogilvy sent out to his staff in the early 80s about how he thought advertising professionals should write. Now, going a little farther back in history, we want to highlight Ogilvy's "11 Commandments" when it came to creating a winning ad.

Ogilvy's 11 Commandments
1. What you say is more important than how you say it.
2. Unless your campaign is built around a great idea, it will flop.
3. Give the facts.
4. You cannot bore people into buying.
5. Be well-mannered, but don't clown.
6. Make your advertising contemporary.
7. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they cannot write them.
8. If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling.
9. Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your own family to read.
10. Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the brand image.
11. Don't be a copy-cat.

All very simple, yet compelling. These rules can be translated for any form of advertising, whether doing a print ad in a magazine or a sponsored tweet. As we approach the new year, let us meditate on the important details; the principles of advertising that have brought the advertising industry to where it is today. 

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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