This is the 1st advertisement Ogilvy wrote as the head of his own agency. Here's an excerpt about this ad from the book, The King of Madison Avenue: "Ogilvy the...View More research director was taking the train home to Connecticut one evening in 1950 when an idea for Guinness popped into his head. He got off at the next stop and called his office: “You won’t believe this, I’ve had an idea.” (He said his family was equally astounded with this first evidence that he could be creative.) The idea was to borrow interest for Guinness from the fascinating foods you drink it with. Immersing himself in a Yale biologist’s book on shellfish, Ogilvy conceived “The Guinness Guide to Oysters,” a guide to nine varieties of oysters. The text was by copywriter Peter Geer; the concept was pure Ogilvy. An instant success, the oyster guide was followed by guides to game birds, cheeses, and other foods that go well with Guinness.
Guinness Guide to Oysters by David Ogilvy Swiped in June 2014 Ran 1950
Try associating your brand to other popular complimentary items like Ogilvy did with oysters & Guinness. That way, people make the association & are more likely to pair the two or group the two in their minds.
Take your mind off of touting your brand for a second & think about an ad you can create that is useful, interesting & that people would share with others - that's what Ogilvy did here. He even mentions at the very end to contact them if you want a framed version of the ad.
Nothing compliments a great photo like a descriptive caption. It gives life & meaning to the visual. Always try to use captions with your photos.
The descriptions are absolutely brilliant because they use the power of storytelling & fascination to give each oyster depth & intrigue. There's a history behind each one that makes them seem much more important than originally thought.
Mike Schaueris the founder of Swiped.co and the main analyst in the swipes section. After intently studying & building conversion-focused websites for 6+ years, he started Swiped to help others master marketing & copywriting through the analysis of great examples!
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June 4, 2014
Brilliant descriptions that make the oysters seem more interesting than originally thought.