David Ogilvy’s Guide To Writing Ads Explained Part 10

I hope you love element 10 as much as I do. Back in the day (when Ogilvy talked about this – the 1960s) news was relatively scarce (or at least, nothing like today with 24 hour up to the millisecond coverage).

It was also massively censored according to whatever narrative each news outlet wanted to portray (nothing much has changed there then).

If you had a new product, you did then what we are all still doing today, you let the world know as quickly as possible.

With one exception. Most didn’t. Except it’s not an exception, in fact there’s almost no change. People still fail to tell the world about their new stuff.

Ogilvy stood out because he not only championed it, he took every opportunity to let his clients know.

(note: Ogilvy was also a master of propaganda, something he learned during covert activities for various governments during World War II – that may also have had something to do with his success…)

Anyway, his point was this, if it’s news, shout it to the rafters or miss out. What’s interesting about news is that it’s root is the word: new (it was actually derived from the French word ‘nouvelle’, which means new things).

Think of news as the future your audience wants that you can bring home to them today.



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  • pardon me, I failed to understand the concept of news in this context. Would you ever be so kind to explain how this works?

    • Whilst mainstream news is concerned (mostly) with catastrophes (or bad news), news in the context of advertising means the opposite – good news. Let the world know when you have something new for it, and it will reward with sales (if it wants to – there must be a desire first). Press releases are the perfect example, although few people do press releases well.

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