A thought on persuasion

Note to self: More Demosthenes, please.

In 1983, advertising pioneer David Ogilvy summarized his mission as follows: “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip’.”


8 thoughts on “A thought on persuasion

  1. And a related thought, to which I refer frequently (indeed, it appears in my first book)…
    “The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.”
    -Pablo Casals

  2. In 2012, the glut of worthless information thrown around in society has dulled the senses.
    In 2012, everyone has a video camera and a computer—everyone can make an ad, good or not, creative or not.
    In 2012, there is an award for everything—including advertising, based on primarily on popularity (entertainment and/or art form), not on how well it relays the message.
    Personally, if you want me to buy something, then truth, honesty, and value far outweighs gimmicks, loudness, speed, double-talk, suggestion, mind games, or anything else that boils down to false advertising or tricking someone into buying your product.

  3. I totally agree with KC. The advertising business has gone so far in the wrong direction that it made itself obsolete. I do not watch ads – in any form – and I still buy whatever I want to, based on my own research.

  4. Every ad person should read T. Merton. Advertising has hijacked the best from the fine arts to convince us cleaning our ass will be a religious experience. ;p The amount of money poured into Ad is obscene; nearly half could be put to much better use for society as a whole. 🙁

  5. KC, I agree with all of your points–but on your last one, while I think most people _think_ that’s why they buy, I don’t think they realize how much emotional sway is involved.
    Quick example: Apple’s first iPod ads actually showed how you use the product–you saw a guy plug it in, sync to his computer, take music to go. Once it became commonplace enough to where the most people knew how it worked, they moved to the “dancing silhouettes with white earbud cables” ads…and I could just about guarantee that those ads drove much higher volumes of sales than the originals. They were selling the sizzle, not the steak.

  6. I think this thread really mirrors how I feel about advertising. There is so much flash and bang without and substance that I now do online research and look for reviews from everyday people.

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