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Confessions of an Advertising Man_Book Review

Confessions of an Advertising Man_Book Review

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Published by tyagiamit14
This is a book review that I wrote on Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogiilvy as part of an assignment for my Advertising Management course taken by Prof Anand in FMS in 2009-10.
This is a book review that I wrote on Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogiilvy as part of an assignment for my Advertising Management course taken by Prof Anand in FMS in 2009-10.

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Published by: tyagiamit14 on Oct 20, 2009
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02/24/2013

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Advertising Management
Prof M.M. AnandBook Review
Confessions of an Advertising Man
Submitted By:Amit TyagiMBA | F-12
 
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Every book has a purpose behind it, so I was tempted to ask, what was David
Mackenzie Ogilvy’s purpose behind writing
this book. Well the answer was clear to meonce I was done reading the book.Mr. Ogilvy has clearly written this book with the following objectives in his mindA.
 
Promote himself B.
 
Promote his agencyC.
 
Promote his business/trade/industry i.e. advertisingAnd strictly in that order too. For example he has launched in to this unabashedcampaign wherein he has linked everything good that his organization has done to himand his teachings. Be it the part where he says "Through maddening repetition, someof my obiter dicta have been woven into our culture"Then he goes on to extol the virtues of his organization, where he talks about howclients retain them across borders, or how they have created successful campaigns forclients over years. Or the way he talks about organizations whose main emphasisaccording to him is to garner accolades for themselves rather than help sell the clients'products, something which he says his agency has never done and would never do.And then last but not the least, he realizes the kind of threats that are faced by theadvertising industry as a whole, be it from clients who try to haggle with their agencyfor the fee, or the kind of campaign they want, or from the type who would preferrunning a price-off campaign than pay their agency for advertising.He has accepted as much saying the book was meant to boost his image in theindustry, to help his company's prospect with the upcoming rights issue and also toget new clients to his agency.However another interesting fact comes out after reading Ogilvy's book; it or rather hesets a pretty different picture of advertising as a profession than what is normallyassumed by people outside. He has clearly shown his preference for going with therules, be it with regards to not setting copies in reverse or with the size of the brand'slogo. From an elementary reading of the book it appears as if Mr. Ogilvy was a sticklerfor rules and would never have deviated from them. But this is where one needs toconsider his background, or rather how he started his career in advertising, he startedas an assistant to Dr. Gallup and therefore has a very research oriented approach toadvertising, and not one adopted by others in the business whom he dubs as 'mincingpansies'.Though the book has been divided in the form of chapters, but I am of the opinion thatthe book should have been divided by Mr. Ogilvy in three partsa)
 
Meb)
 
My Agencyc)
 
My Industry
 
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In order to
understand this little red book better, let’s look at the book
, chapter bychapter and see what is it that this stove seller from Scotland has to say aboutadvertising.
How to manage an advertising agency?? 
In this chapter he speaks about the ideal (nothing that he has to say can be less thanideal) ways to manage an advertising agency. He draws from his experience as a chef in France and how his boss functioned to illustrate how to manage creative (buteccentric people).He emphasizes the point that with creativity comes eccentricity and one has to learn todeal with the eccentricity of creative people to best learn how to manage them.He illustrates things like giving the right kind of atmosphere for creative people tobring out their true genius, giving rare praise to his staff for work well done, the ideaof delivering what has been promised, or even if it is about things as trivial as keepingthe workplace clean (though I must admit that drawing this parallel from a kitchen toan advertising agency looks like a bit of a stretch), or about the boss leading byexample when it came to hard work. What really stands out in the reading of thischapter or probably the whole of this book is the generous use of the word I, (althoughMr. Ogilvy has taken the pains to mention in the opening chapter that he has done thisagainst the popular culture of the times when he wrote the book) because the viewsexpressed are his own and therefore he himself needs to be responsible for them)There is a point in the chapter when Mr. Ogilvy writes that though advertising as aprofession is about writing and therefore people in the profession need to be well readbut sadly people like that seemed to be missing in the profession and then in the samechapter goes on to talk about Lord Rutherford and the Cavendish Laboratory, uses theexample of Winston Churchill to illustrate the eccentricities associated with creativity.
How to get Clients
If there is any part of the book that best describes the maverick spirit of David Ogilvyit is without doubt where he describes how he set about getting the best of clients forhis young and greenhorn agency. And also his unique approach to describe thelifestyle of an agency which he used to confront prospective clients with.Although it would be too much to expect Mr. Ogilvy to accept his shortcoming andaccept the success of 
others to a task he didn’t succeed at, still he was gracious
enough to accept that sometimes
it’s
not just creative genius and 'fire in the belly'which helps secure clients, it has something to do with the right connections andmaking those decisions to hire the best people to do it as he did in the case of AndyHewitt.

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