About David Ogilvy, Our Founder – The man who changed the face of advertising
In 1948, David Ogilvy, Ogilvy’s founder, established a small advertising company on Madison Avenue in New York, the center of the advertising business, after leaving his home country of the United Kingdom. His company was initially capitalized at only $6,000. At the time, David was 38 years old. Subsequently, the name of his company was changed to Ogilvy & Mather.
Then, 60 years later in 2008, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the United Kingdom’s public TV network, aired a documentary program on the life of David. The narrator said the following about him.
“David branded himself. As if to emphasize that he was British, he wore tweed suits, smoked a pipe, woke up everyday at exactly 4:30 a.m., and drank tea. At the time in the advertising industry, David was the only person who had attempted to brand himself.”
He was new not only in the way that he branded himself. He was also a “reformer” of the advertising business. Up until that time, advertising in the United States adopted a “hard-sell” approach. Advertisers relentlessly communicated their selling points to consumers and that was the mainstream approach. David, who started out as a copywriter, focused on the tone, manner, color, copy, and, more than anything, on ideas. When advertising embraced the “soft-sell” approach, which focused on creativity, advertising took one important step forward. This is why David is referred to as the “Father of Advertising.”
In 1983, he retired from his position as chairman and moved to Touffou, France, where he was still actively involved in the business. He passed away on July 21, 1999. .