Start With The Product

The advertising legend David Ogilvy said “The magic is in the product.” The point being that no matter how smart, creative and just plain cool an ad person or ad agency sees itself, ultimate marketing success is dependent on the product quality and the value its use brings consumers. I love this point. First of all it’s refreshingly humble, which is not the most common behavior in the inflated ego, aggressive selling and flashy presentation culture of advertising. David Ogilvy, one of the greatest to play the ad game, is admitting that even with all the amazing things we can do in our industry, nothing we do is the most critical factor for results. The honesty alone makes this a great advertising quote. But what makes it one of my all time favorites is it immediately puts focus on the one thing that all agencies and marketing partners should consistently be plugged into- what the client is selling. When you buy into and apply Mr. Ogilvy’s wisdom to a marketing partnership, you are forced to ask the client the most critical question- “Why does your product matter?” Before money is spent on tactical development and media exposure, it makes perfect sense that we, the marketing partner, must first understand what makes the company’s product a better choice than the competition- what is its magic? It seems to me that only then can we create the campaigns that are memorable and move people to product trial. It’s not until we commit our focus in the most important place can we deliver magical results for our clients.

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