"Our Mercedes-Benz advertising is positioned to fit noncomformists who scoff at 'status symbols' and reject flimflam appeals to snobbery." So wrote David Ogilvy, founding father of the classic ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, four decades ago. If you can figure that quote out, you will understand just about everything there is to know about the effect that advertising has on our minds. It's taken from a 1,900 word, 38-point treatise by Ogilvy called "How to create advertising that sells," which gives a punchy rundown of his personal knowledge as one of the premier ad men in America. But Ogilvy would not have been able to predict what he has wrought. It only takes three key points to tell the story of conventional wisdom gone awry.
"5. A first-class ticket. It pays to give most products an image of quality—a first-class ticket."
"12. Testimonials: Avoid irrelevant celebrities...Either celebrities or real people can be effective. But avoid irrelevant celebrities whose fame has no natural connection with your product or your customers."
"21. Animation & Cartoons. Less than five percent of television commercials use cartoons or animation. They are less persuasive than live commercials...However, Carson/ Roberts, our partners in Los Angeles, tell us that animation can be helpful when you are talking to children."