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Old March 6, 2002, 03:56 PM
Simon Latouche
 
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Default Will Any Agency Hire This Off-Key Singing Man? David Ogilvy and Gordon Alexander Overlooked.

Will Any Agency Hire This Off-Key Singing Man? David Ogilvy and Gordon Alexander Overlooked.

Everybody knows David Ogilvy.
Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world ..blah...blah...blah.

Well, here is a piece of overlooked David Ogilvy.

Once he sent out the following "resume" of himself:

--- Start Resume---

Will Any Agency Hire This Man?

He is 38, and unemployed. He dropped out of college. He has been a cook, a salesman, a diplomatist and a farmer. He knows nothing about marketing and has never written any copy. He professes to be interested in advertising as a career (at the age of 38!) and is ready to go to work.

I doubt if any American agency will hire him.

---End Resume---

Surprisingly, a London agency DID hire him.

2. Everybody knows Gordon Alexander.
Here is a piece of Gordon Alexander overlooked as a business model:

---Start Piece---

HEY. I'd start the OFF KEY SINGING TELEGRAM SERVICE.
And I did. The very next day.
After morning classes, I went to the Buchtelite, the school paper and placed the following ad:
WORLD'S WORST SINGER WILL DELIVER REALLY AWFUL (BUT TERRIBLY FUNNY) SINGING TELEGRAMS. BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, ANY OCCASIONS. CALL JAY ALEXANDER AT XXX-XXXX.

---End Piece (the whole story is at http://www.sowpub.com/story-singing.shtml)---

(BTW, I personally think the OFF KEY SINGING TELEGRAM SERVICE has been the best business achievement of Gordon's.)

As I see it, both Ogilvy and Alexander did the same thing - they ADVERTISED themselves as anti-experts.

Both were successful.

Next time you read a recommendation to present yourself as an "expert", think about those two models.

Sometimes it's profitable to tell a brutal truth.

Simon
 


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