Ogilvy was a great advertising man and is often referred to as the “Father of Advertising.” You can learn more about him through Wikipedia. I just want to highlight some of his most famous advertising campaigns in one place for you since I couldn’t find a decent article that included the biggies. I’ll start with the two most popular advertising campaigns that put him on the map and that are referred to most often when people talk about Ogilvy.
In 1951 a small Maine clothing maker, C.F. Hathaway, asked for Ogilvy’s help in promoting its moderately priced dress shirts. Ogilvy created copy that was effective for the initial ads, but what sent the ads over the top was the accompanying photo. As a last minute decision, Ogilvy decided to photograph a man wearing a white button-down Hathaway shirt and a black eye patch. "The Man in the Hathaway Shirt" ad appeared for the first time in the magazine the New Yorker of September 22, 1951. For some reason, the eye patch created a sensation – it gave the shirt a higher quality and a higher level of sophistication. The image carried on in a follow-up campaign that showed the “The Man in the Hathaway Shirt” as a man working on a car, sailing and driving a tractor among other activities. Eventually Hathaway didn’t even need its name on advertisements for people to recognize its shirts because of the “Hathaway Man” and his eye patch, and the company could hardly keep up with consumer demand of its shirts. The campaign ran for 25 years.
Next, in 1953 Ogilvy worked with Schweppes, a British manufacturer of water trying to get noticed in America. Ogilvy persuaded the president of Schweppes, World War II vet Commander Edward Whitehead, to be in the commercial himself. Ogilvy was going to use actors, but then told Whitehead “People are more interested in individual personalities than in corporations.” The bearded Brit was featured in various ads and the ad campaign ran for 18 years. In the 1950s a beard was just as exotic and intriguing as the Hathaway man's eye patch. The beard and the Brit’s accent worked. By 1958 Schweppes was selling over 30 million bottles a year. And the word “Schweppervescence” used to describe the tonic water’s bubbles was widely known.
Other great Ogilvy campaigns
Among other early successful campaigns was Dove’s “1/4 cleansing cream” brand, which sold on that same premise for many years and in 1956, Ogilvy used the “Titus Moody” character for Pepperidge Farm, a campaign that lasted for over 30 years.
Ogilvy also created great headlines, such as the 1960 classic for Rolls-Royce: “At 60 Miles An Hour The Loudest Noise In This New Rolls-Royce Comes From The Electric Clock.” This is one of the most famous automobile ad lines of all time.
In 1975, Ogilvy created the “Don’t Leave Home Without It” tag line for American Express Traveler’s Cheques, which featured award-winning actor Karl Malden. This campaign was reworked in 2005 for the American Express Travelers Cheque Card and is a well-known tag line still today.
And it’s nice to see that Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office is still on fire. It received the Best in Show award in 2008 at the 26th annual New York ACE Awards for its “Blade Center” marketing campaign for IBM Corp.