Lessons from the advertising parents

The growth and advancement of advertising has come a long way since the coupons of the early 20th Century. As we find ourselves amidst a technology and digital revolution, we thought we’d revisit the first revolution of the ‘Mad Men Era’ and take heed of the marketing lessons the three pioneers, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach and Leo Burnett taught the world.

Lesson 1: Clearly define your positioning. What and Who for.

David Ogilvy founder of Ogilvy and Mather, Author of ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man’ and ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ is famous within the Advertising world for many things. Notably, the Dove creation of Dove as women’s soap in 1955. Which Ogilvy and Mather still hold the account for today and are the brains behind the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

“I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands but chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry hands. This is still working 25 years later.”

“What does the product do and who is it for?”

Lesson 2: Find your brands point of difference. What is the single factor that separates your brand from all other brands?

Leo Burnett founded the international advertising agency Leo Burnett worldwide. Famous for his creation of some of Advertisings most well known characters such as Tony the Tiger, The Pillsboroughy Dough boy and Malboro Man, Burnett was named as one of the most influential people of the 20th century by Time Magazine in 1999.

In a time where copy about the benefits of a product was the norm, Burnett instead focused on the image and triggered feeling and response from the viewers.

“There is usually something there, always something there if you can find the thing that keeps it in the market place.”

Lesson 3: Brand truth: Embrace your brands authenticity.

Bill Bernbach was one of the three founders of International Advertising agency DDB. Bernbach was credited with being the first to join copywriters and Art Directors into 2 person teams and is often named as the major force behind the creative revolution.

Bernbach was the brains behind the famous Volkswagen ads “think small” and “lemon” and notably took levy’s rye bread from being”Jewish” bread to being “everybody’s” bread with the renowned “you don’t have the Jewish to love levy’s” campaign. The common thread between these and all Bernbach’s campaigns was simplicity and truth. He didn’t run from what the brand or product fundamentally was but instead used it as a strong selling point.

“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

Are there past lessons in your industry that inspire you in your work?