Libro 6/52 :: Blood, Brains & Beer by David Ogilvy



Imagine this “Experience” from a Linkedin profile:



– College dropout :: Oxford, England

– Chef :: Paris

– Stove salesman :: Scotland

– Dr. George Gallup’s right-hand man :: NJ

– British Secret Service during WWII :: DC

– Amish farmer :: Pennsylvania


(Then at the age of 38…)


– Founder Ogilvy & Mather :: NY

– Inspiration from Don Draper in Mad Men





If there was a guy who did all this and then wrote a book about it… it would be interesting.



And it was.



As you might assume from an advertising genius, David Ogilvy packs a wicked punch into a small space. He writes small sentences. He tells small stories. He wrote a great small book, one I pounded out in a couple of days.



My only critique is the frequency with which Ogilvy employs British and French sayings that were all but intelligible to me. But… he was British and lived in France, so you can’t yell at your dog because it has fleas, I guess.



And with a book as entertaining and oddly amusing as this, consider this subtle criticism a small speed bump and not a stop sign.

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 9.43.28 PM


Here is some Ogilvy wisdom from Blood, Brains & Beer:



Unless your advertising contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.



The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife. Try not to insult her intelligence. 



Advertising should be true, credible, and pleasant. People do not buy from bad-mannered liars.




Given the enjoyment I’ve had from Blood, Brains & Beer, a second Ogilvy book is coming soon to the Libro 52 Challenge. Here’s a teaser from Confessions of an Advertising Man.




“If you detect a slight stench of conceit in this book, I would have you know that my conceit is selective. I am a miserable duffer in everything, except advertising. I cannot read a balance sheet, work a computer, ski, sail, play golf or paint. But when it comes to advertising, Advertising Age says that I am “the creative king of advertising.” When Fortune published an article about me and titled it “Is David Ogilvy a Genius?,” I asked my lawyer to sue the editor for the question mark.”






Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle ( He’s grinding out 52 books this year. Six down in Month Uno… so far so good.



Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 9.52.23 PM

LIBRO 52 Challenge YTD

1. Kennedy/Nixon by Chris Matthews

2. Poke the Box by Seth Godin

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

NA. Buy-In by John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead

4. Education of an Accidental CEO by David Novak

5. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

6. Blood, Brains and Beer by David Ogilvy

Categories: Libro 52 Challenge

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33 replies


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