David Ogilvy’s Guide To Direct Response Advertising Part 10

In element 9, Ogilvy advises his prospects to “supply facts and figures” in their ads. In element 10 he does exactly that. He quotes facts and figures about an A/B split test his agency did on a $1 offer and how he improved results by 112% by throwing in a free catalog.

He positions his agency as one that does what it says. In other words, he shows us that Ogilvy has integrity without explicitly telling us.

Compare that with all the sharks out there whose copy is full of promises and short on anything else. The gullible fall for it (and fail in business), but real, long term businesses don’t. They smell it a mile off and avoid like the plague.

Element 10 tells us it’s about how to position your products, but really it’s about how to position yourself. There’s another way to look at this though, and that is through your USP.

Write a list of all the positions you could use to sell yourself, then choose the one that’s unique to you (or new to the world) and push that subtly through all you do.

Think of it as your line in the sand. The one you won’t cross for anyone. Those prospects who agree with that position or aspire to it will come across in droves.

My own position is about heroes and villains. I’m here for the heroes of this world. I know I can’t change the villains, so I just call out what they do, and by implication, I become the hero I aspire to be. That’s my line in the sand.

What’s yours?


David Ogilvy, positioning, USP

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