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Are you the greatest creative director?

2 min, 8 sec read
7:37 AM | 17 July 2013
by Adam Oldfield
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The following was memo dispatched to all creative directors of Ogilvy & Mather offices worldwide by David Ogilvy in 1979.

  1. Are you creating the most remarkable advertising in your country?
  2. Is this generally recognised, inside and outside your agency?
  3. Can you show new business prospects at least four campaigns which electrify them?
  4. Have you stopped overloading commercials?
  5. Have you stopped singing the sales pitch?
  6. Do all your commercials start with a visual grabber?
  7. Have you stopped using cartoon commercials when selling to adults?
  8. Do you show at least six Magic Lanterns to everyone who joins your staff?
  9. If they don't understand English, have you had all the Lanterns translated into their language?
  10. Do you repeat the the brand name several times in every commercial?
  11. Have you stopped using celebrity testimonials in television commercials?
  12. Have you got a list of red-hot creative people in other agencies, ready for the day when you can afford to hire them?
  13. Do all your campaigns execute an agreed positioning?
  14. Do they promise a benefit - which has been tested?
  15. Do you always super the promise at least twice in every commercial?
  16. Have you had at least three Big Ideas in the last six months?
  17. Do you always make the product the hero?
  18. Are you going to win more creative awards than any other agency this year?
  19. Do you use problem-solving, humour, relevant characters, slice-of-life?
  20. Do you eschew lifestyle commercials?
  21. Do your people gladly work nights and weekends?
  22. Are you good at injecting news into your campaign?
  23. Do you always show the product in use?
  24. Does your house reel include some commercials with irresistible charm?
  25. Do you always show the package at the end?
  26. Have you stopped using visual clichés - like sunsets and happy families at the dinner table? Do you use lots of visual surprises?
  27. Do the illustrations in your print advertisements contain story appeal?
  28. Are you phasing out addy layouts and moving to editorial layouts?
  29. Do you sometimes use visualised contrast?
  30. Do all your headlines contain the brand name - and the promise?
  31. Are all your illustrations photographs?
  32. Have you stopped setting copy ragged left and right?
  33. Have your stopped using more than forty characters in a line of copy?
  34. Have you stopped setting copy smaller than 10 point and bigger than 12?
  35. Do you always paste advertisements into magazines or newspapers before you OK them?
  36. Have you stopped setting body copy in sans-serif?
  37. Have you stopped beating your wife?

If you can answer YES to all these questions, you are the greatest creative director on the face of the earth.

David Ogilvy

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