How To Manage An Advertising Agency:
"Managing an advertising agency is like managing any other creative organization- a research laboratory, a magazine, architects office, a great kitchen."
- David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy was named the "Father of Advertising" by many high profile clients on Madison Avenue.
At the age of 38 people would have never expected this "boy" to become the "father of advertising" and one of the most well-known people in the world for advertising and writing copy.
He was a college drop out.
He had been known as a cook, salesman, diplomatist and a farmer.
He never wrote a campaign or any copy.
None of this stopped him.
He had professed at the age of 38, to be interested in the field of advertising and decided to make it his career.
This man is now a best-selling author and has an American drama series (AMC) based on his life. The shows name is "mad men."
All of the fame and fortunes is amazing and to see a person at the top of their game is even better, but the thing that strikes is how does someone get to a point in their life like this man? How do I get a show based on my life and better yet how are people going to remember me long after I leave this planet we call earth?
Any of these questions strike you too? Great, well let's get into it then.
Lessons in the kitchen:
Ogilvy has always said that he believed that if he could understand how Monsieur Pitard, the head chief, inspired such a white- hot morale, he could apply the same kind of leadership to the management of his advertising agency.
This was, of course, some of the things that David he noticed when he had worked at the kitchen in Paris.
"To begin with, he was the best cook in the whole brigade, and he knew it."
David said that it was inspiring to work for him, a supreme master. Every once in a while Pitard would emerge from the glass office that surrounded the kitchen. He would spend most of his time at the desk, but when he would emerge, everyone would crowd around him to watch in awe and amazement to his delightful skills.
Following that, the Father would, every once in a while, write some advertisements for himself; he said it was to remind the brigade of copywriters that his hand has not lost its cunning.
This had been one of Ogilvy's first lessons that were learned. Always sharpen your skill, even if it is "once in a while." Mastery takes time, and once achieved it can be lost again over time.
"Cooks like copywriters, work under ferocious pressures and are apt to be quarrelsome."
Under those conditions, Ogilvy spoke of; there was never much praise for everything that they had done. In the kitchen, it had almost been expected to perform at such a high level because no one; not one single person wanted to be caught working beside or with an inexperienced cook.
David recalls that there was a day that the President of France came to a banquet at Majestic. He says that it was a "memorable day." They had been preparing frogs legs with a white chaud-froid sauce. It was a different, electric environment on this day.
"M. Pitard was standing beside me, watching. I was so frightened that my knees knocked togeather and my hands trembled. He took the pencil from his starched toque and waved it in the air, his signal for the whole brigade to gather. Then he pointed at my frog's legs and said, very slowly and quietly, "That's how to do it." I was his slave for life."
The second lesson that helped build David's dynasty. "Praise your staff as rarely as M. Pitard praised his chefs." In the hope that they too will appreciate it more than a steady gush of appreciation. It gives the employees a great sense of occasion.
"I find that people who work in my agency get a similar charge out of a state of an occasion. When a crisis keeps them working all night, their morale is high for weeks afterward."
The third lesson that Ogilvy had learnt in the kitchen was about exceptional service.
There was a time when David had told the waiter that they were out of fresh "plat du jour." M. Pitard had almost fired him for it. In a great kitchen, he said, one must always honor what one has promised on the menu. M. Pitard told Ogilvy "NEVER to tell a waitress that they were out of a dish again."
That was another thing that hit home for Ogilvy.
"I see red when anybody at Ogilvy, Benson & Mather tells a client that we can not produce an advertisement or a television commercial on the day that we promised it. In the best establishments, promises are always kept, whatever it may cost in agony and overtime."
Tips to take away:
1. Mastery is something that is obtained by the same way it can be lost. Time.
2. Praise when it is appropriate and not all the time. People should work to deserve things and not expect them.
3. Always hold true to the promises you make, companies rise and fall on this sort of leadership.
To your success, MyersMedia.