David Ogilvy’s Guide To Direct Response Advertising Part 11

The phone rings, and on the other end is Cessna’s international director of sales and marketing – “ever sold jets before?”.

You reply “no, but I have a feeling we’d make you a lot of money if we did, wanna talk?”.


“Great. We need a recording of the jet. When can you get that to us?”

The rest is history as sales of the new Cessna Citation soared (see the PS below).

As it’s new customers relax in an environment so quiet, you can’t even hear the food blender whirring away in the galley, Ogilvy puts together element 11 of his new ad.

He knew that whilst you could sell a $10k car using just words, it would take something a little more convincing to sell a million dollar jet, so he sent out recordings of the sound of the jet in a lumpy mail pack to prospects showing just how quiet the new jet was in comparison to a bunch of other noisy objects.

Element 11 is all about demonstration. If you can demonstrate something physically, it’s always going to beat words alone. And yet here he is using words alone to demonstrate how his agency makes millions for its clients by sending out direct mail with benefits.

Another masterclass of ingenuity. For more of this, make sure you get the Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter delivered fresh to your inbox every Sunday (https://scienceofcopywriting.com)

PS. Current estimates suggest that Cessna have sold more than $7bn of Citations since its launch in 1972. Apart from the effect on the climate, that’s certainly something any advertising agency would be proud to shout about.


David Ogilvy, direct response, lumpy mail

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