David Ogilvy’s Guide To Direct Response Advertising Part 18

Here’s how Seth Godin defines culture: “people like us do things like this”. I think it’s the most important observation we, as marketers, could ever learn.

We all want (and need) to be part of something, be it a group of like-minded people, a club, a family, a movement, a lover.

And when you take that into account (the idea of culture) it becomes far easier to write amazing copy (because, ironically, at the heart of this definition is divide and conquer – the world’s oldest and most successful strategy).

We’ve been told by many gurus that writing for one particular market is entirely different from writing for another. For example, copy for the US market would utterly fail in, say, China.

So Ogilvy took advantage of our natural bias by blowing this concept out of the water in element 18 of his direct response ad.

He told us that a campaign his agency did for the US market, which was then exported to their Paris branch, tripled the response rate.

But more than that, he tells us that with 57 Ogilvy & Mather offices spread through 30 countries, he can export almost any campaign anywhere.

This appeals to any international company looking to expand their horizons. It’s another example of positioning that’s hard to argue with.

“People like us, can help people like you – want some?” 

PS. Whilst divide and conquer rules, it’s also the most cruel of strategies. Be careful with this one.


David Ogilvy, direct response, divide

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