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Advertising: A Touch of Singularity

Welcome to Junction’s Book Nook. At Junction, we dedicate a significant amount of time educating ourselves on the complexities of the business and marketing ecosystem. We would like to share insights from some of the pages of the books we are reading.


As part of my New Year’s resolution to put down the technology and pick up a book (an actual book), I selected Confessions of an Advertising Man, by David Ogilivy, a true genius known as the “Father of Advertising.” Although Ogilvy passed away in 1999, his principles remain as relevant in today’s marketing economy as in the 1960s:

– Be A Student: In order to be great in advertising, it is important to be a student first. Listen, learn, and study before you beginning the creative process, or risk being permanently superficial.
– Be Ambitious: Put simply, don’t bunt. Rather, hit the ball out of the park.
– Sell or Else: In the words of Ogilvy, you can’t save souls in an empty church. In today’s modern business world, it is useless to just be creative. You must also sell what you create.
– Tell the Truth: Present only the facts in advertising if you want to be successful.

Reading the book felt much like an interview. All of the questions I would ever think to ask, Ogilvy managed to answer in this book, leaving me with more than a few notable remarks:

– On Discipline: “It takes brains and perseverance to create a brand.”
– On Content: “Advertising is a business of words…..”
– On Engagement: “Advertising is a game of seconds.”
– On Talent: “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine. ”
– On Hard Work: “I believe in the Scottish proverb, ‘Hard work never killed a man’, men die of boredom, psychological conflict and disease. They do not die of hard work.”
– On Excellence: “The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.”

As the advertising industry continues to dynamically change, advertisers and marketers search for solutions for establishing marketing best practices within each respective organization. Ogilvy is sure to remind us that sometimes the big ideas are simple ideas. Despite the pace at which we operate, there is inherent value on first looking behind to adjust our decisions moving forward.

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