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Create Financial Advertising That Sells

"How to create financial advertising that sells" was part of a suite of long-form advertisements used by Ogilvy in the mid-1970s (a full reprint and download is available on our website). It's an important read for no other reason than to recognise that the principles applied nearly 50-years ago are almost identical to those used today with the exception that we obviously enjoy greater returns by virtue of digital systems.

The call to action in the document should put our current opportunities into perspective. A letter written to a department head on a company letterhead was sent via snail-mail so one might eventually receive an invitation to a slide presentation. And this was a true static slide presentation " not some fancy PowerPoint. We can now have a lead registered to a webinar and watching with interactive features seconds. While we might see this immediacy as an opportunity " and it most certainly is " we're also appealing to a more sophisticated and discerning audience that will often associate advertising with spam (the vintage process added a certain value, importance, and exclusivity to the exchange). Our modern mission is to create compelling copy that rises above those other ads that a user might scroll past and demonstrate clear and unique value.

The second advertisement in the image, "How direct response advertising can increase your sales and profits" reinforces the basic principles we use today. If you look past the coupon-based techniques and some of the antiquated methodology you'll appreciate that we're essentially using the same techniques. It's a fascinating read (both of these ads are framed with others in our office).

What the finance industry has lost is quality, and perhaps the need to maintain high standards in what we do. Ogilvy makes mention of the need for compelling and solution-based copy and creativity, and I've always wondered what he'd think of the low-level practice of buying leads when a company has the capacity to take ownership of its success.

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