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Who’s Our Daddy, You Ask?


He was a legendary advertising executive whose creativity and original thinking brought tremendous transformation to Madison Avenue in the 1960s’ and 1970s’.

The son of a classics scholar and a financial broker, who powered the belief that an ad man should be the product of many influences. (He was a chef, a researcher, a farmer and a door-to-door salesman who sold cooking stoves!)

An extraordinary individual who, during a time when visual and artistry flair took precedence, had the balls to introduce science into his craft.A man whose first advertising effort depicted a naked woman. And as embarrassed as he was with the attempt, still acknowledged that such non-traditional approaches do have their place in advertising.

The very man who introduced the concept of brand image to advertising.

The one and only Father of Advertising. The late Mr. David Ogilvy.
Yes. This Father’s Day, The Bullet pays tribute to the progenitor of the very creative industry in which we thrive in day-in day-out. After all, what better way to be the father of your own brand than to learn from the Father of Advertising himself?

A champion of creating game-changing advertising campaigns, David Ogilvy operates on an advertising mantra of his own. Four beautiful principles that still have a strong influence on everything we do today, regardless of agency!

1. Research, research, research.

Coming from a background of research (the British Intelligence Service, no less), Ogilvy never underestimated the power of research. So much so, that he billed himself as Research Director when he opened his first agency in 1952. Research is something that many advertising professionals have learned to appreciate over the years – a wonderful source of consumer insights and universal truths!

2. Professional discipline.

“I prefer the discipline of knowledge to the chaos of ignorance.” This is a practice Ogilvy expanded on by codifying knowledge into slide and film presentations he called Magic Lanterns, while instituting several training programmes for young advertising professionals. A fatherly trait indeed!

3. Creative brilliance.

Ogilvy always retained a strong emphasis on the “Big Idea”, which hey, is a word that gets bounced around every creative studio in the world everyday!

4. Results for clients.

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” This preeminent regard for delivering results to clients has proven effective in the case of Dove, whose positioning “Only Dove is one-quarter cleansing cream”, still being used 50 years later, now outsells every soap in the U.S. and around the world.

Plenty of valuable lessons, from one father to possibly, another.

So to all fathers and fathers-of-brands whose work is often endless, but thankless – Happy Father’s Day!

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