Posts by Author

Drayton Bird

Posts by Author

Drayton Bird

But What’s Next?

By Drayton Bird | 05/18/2011

How many geniuses have you met?


The Mistake That Almost Killed Some of the World’s Biggest Brands

By Drayton Bird | 04/21/2011

Firms that spend more money on discounting than advertising are far less profitable than those that spend more on advertising than discounting.


Try Negativity: Make It a Privilege to Buy

By Drayton Bird | 11/10/2010

Here’s a little quiz for you. Who said the following? 1. “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.” 2. “The Golden Rule is, there is no Golden Rule.” 3. “Will you sleep with me for a million pounds?” Well, the man who said all those things was the Irish…


Heart vs. Head

By Drayton Bird | 09/23/2010

What has come over us Limeys?

We were always known as a pretty dull, phlegmatic bunch, compared to the excitable French, the fiery Spanish, and the sexy Italians.


The Death of Direct Mail

By Drayton Bird | 07/29/2010

A while back, my Australian partner Malcolm Auld sent me a piece by a marketing expert named Tom Evans, which stated that “direct mail for customer acquisition is dead.” You should still put your money into direct marketing, said Tom — but do it online.


A Checklist for Breakthrough Sales Copy

By Drayton Bird | 07/1/2010

I have always seen myself as a kindly, helpful soul — but clearly my memory fails me.

Back in my Ogilvy & Mather Direct days, people quickly turned their computer screens blank whenever I materialized in the creative department. Seems I had the nasty habit of reading the sales copy they were writing out loud and making derisive comments.


How Bad Marketing Killed a Good Man

By Drayton Bird | 05/10/2010

When I got into the mail-order business years ago, it wasn’t something you boasted about. You would be a bit inscrutable when people asked you what your job was. You would mutter something that included the word advertising — so much sexier!

I recalled this coyness when an old colleague asked me to talk to some to Syracuse University students here in London who are enrolled in a course called Ethical Advertising.

Most marketers are too busy trying to make a living to worry about whether or not they’re being ethical. But then I came across this quote from Abraham Lincoln that summed up the way I feel about my chosen career: When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.


Want Lots More Sales? Avoid These Seven Deadly Sins

By Drayton Bird | 04/13/2010

A few years ago, after making a speech about copywriting that I thought was excellent in every way, my childish delight at my own brilliance was destroyed by a cynical listener. He said, “Well, you seem to know just about everything about what to do in order to write good…


What I Learned at the Franklin Mint

By Drayton Bird | 04/6/2010

How many geniuses have you met? I met Charlie Chaplin (very briefly) in 1966 while working on publicity for the film Fahrenheit 451. Then I was lucky enough to work with David Ogilvy for eight years. Ogilvy still exerts enormous influence in the marketing business, and if you haven’t read…


A Highly Profitable, Laughably Simple Lesson From the Great Depression

By Drayton Bird | 03/24/2010

I have a daughter in Montclair, New Jersey — hometown of the inimitable Yogi Berra. As a result, I have made a bit of a study of his remarks, and one of my favorites is, “You can observe a lot just by looking.” Well, one thing I have observed a…