The following was memo dispatched to all creative directors of Ogilvy & Mather offices worldwide by David Ogilvy in 1979.
- Are you creating the most remarkable advertising in your country?
- Is this generally recognised, inside and outside your agency?
- Can you show new business prospects at least four campaigns which electrify them?
- Have you stopped overloading commercials?
- Have you stopped singing the sales pitch?
- Do all your commercials start with a visual grabber?
- Have you stopped using cartoon commercials when selling to adults?
- Do you show at least six Magic Lanterns to everyone who joins your staff?
- If they don't understand English, have you had all the Lanterns translated into their language?
- Do you repeat the the brand name several times in every commercial?
- Have you stopped using celebrity testimonials in television commercials?
- Have you got a list of red-hot creative people in other agencies, ready for the day when you can afford to hire them?
- Do all your campaigns execute an agreed positioning?
- Do they promise a benefit - which has been tested?
- Do you always super the promise at least twice in every commercial?
- Have you had at least three Big Ideas in the last six months?
- Do you always make the product the hero?
- Are you going to win more creative awards than any other agency this year?
- Do you use problem-solving, humour, relevant characters, slice-of-life?
- Do you eschew lifestyle commercials?
- Do your people gladly work nights and weekends?
- Are you good at injecting news into your campaign?
- Do you always show the product in use?
- Does your house reel include some commercials with irresistible charm?
- Do you always show the package at the end?
- Have you stopped using visual clichés - like sunsets and happy families at the dinner table? Do you use lots of visual surprises?
- Do the illustrations in your print advertisements contain story appeal?
- Are you phasing out addy layouts and moving to editorial layouts?
- Do you sometimes use visualised contrast?
- Do all your headlines contain the brand name - and the promise?
- Are all your illustrations photographs?
- Have you stopped setting copy ragged left and right?
- Have your stopped using more than forty characters in a line of copy?
- Have you stopped setting copy smaller than 10 point and bigger than 12?
- Do you always paste advertisements into magazines or newspapers before you OK them?
- Have you stopped setting body copy in sans-serif?
- 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.
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