18 Miracles of Research in The Eyes of Ogilvy

Dr. Padma Srinivasan
Senior faculty on Management & Consultant
Laksha Global Consultancy Services

" I run the risk of being denounced by the idiots who hold that any advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete"
- David Ogilvy

Any researcher, who looks for the ways and means of advertising system, examines the work of Mr. David Ogilvy. He popularized the concept of Brand Images in 1953, though Mr. Claude Hopkins had described them 20 earlier. Many of the advertising techniques which worked when Ogilvy wrote his 'Confessions of an Advertising Man" are still valid till date. According to him, Customers still buy products whose advertisement promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status and so on. He has written on the aspects of advertising he knew from experience.

His book titled" Ogilvy on Advertising" is stimulating and intellect stirring piece of book .He cites 18 miracles of research in advertising cult that enhances and enriches the benefits and values.

1. It can measure the reputation of the Company among the consumers, security analysts, government officials, newspaper editors and the academic community.

2. Usage of mathematical models can bring up estimates of the sales of new products and the advertising expenditures required to achieve maximum profits

3. The consumer reactions to a new product in the conceptual state can be got

4. Once the product is ready in the market, the comparative perceptions in the minds of the consumer {the advertised product vis a vis the similar products existing in the market then} can be examined. If the product is found inferior, it can be sent back to R& D for improvisation.

5. Consumers' preferences regarding what formulation, flavor, fragrance and color on this product can be noted so that the product can be redone to match the need.

6. Package designs that can sell best can also be identified accurately.

7. The optimal positioning of the product can be derived easily done to match the market needs.

8. The target audience relating to life style best suited to the product research can be redefined to make the research valid.

9. The factors leading to the purchase decisions on the product and the customer's vocabulary can be found out to target the customers best.

10. The extending of product line can also be looked at, the line that can complement the present best seller.

11. The Company can be warned on the customer's distaste or changing preferences or if the product is found less desirable than it once was.

12. There is saving of time and money when the competitor's test market findings are examined.

13. The most persuasive 'Promise"-promises benefiting the customer can be evolved by the company. Advertising which promises no benefit to the consumer does not sell, yet majority of the campaigns contain no promises whatever.

14. The premiums, which work best, for the product in offer are picked up

15. The advertising communication that can totally and truthfully communicate what the Company wanted to say on the product.

16. The apt television commercials that increase the sales of the product in research can be identified to evolve the brand awareness and recall.

17. Research can tell 'how many read the advertisement and how many remember them'. This aids faster brand establishment.

18. Last but not the least, research settles arguments.

Thus, as avid researcher, I found Ogilvy's thoughts illuminating. The researchers better remember to achieve these above-mentioned miracles if they are to reap positive results. Such all-encompassing research can be of incalculable help in producing an effective adverting.


Ogilvy on Adverting-Vintage Books, N.Y, 1985.

Dr. Padma Srinivasan
Senior faculty on Management & Consultant
Laksha Global Consultancy Services

Source : E-mail March 20, 2006



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