Why David Ogilvy Is The Most Interesting Man Alive

Does this look familiar?

Do you feel like you’ve seen it before?

The Man In the Hathaway Shirt Ad

The Original Most Interesting Man Alive

…it’s because you have… :)


It’s been said that, “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past…”

…but I say:

“Those who do not study history are doomed to think they invented stuff that someone else actually invented nearly a century ago…”

I’m not taking anything away from the folks who came up with “The Most Interesting Man” spots. I’m fairly certain they knew exactly what they were doing, and taking inspiration from a 60+ year old ad (that sold shirts) to create a modern beer commercial that offers something other than the generic inter-racial buddies-at-a-bar scene”…


…or bimbos on a beach scene…


…is certainly appreciated.

No, my critique is from my marketing friends who didn’t know that “The Most Interesting Man” ad was swiped!

Study your history, marketers!!

You’ll save a ton of time, and be A LOT better at your job.

These books are a great place to start:

  1. Tested Advertising Methods
  2. Scientific Advertising
  3. The Robert Collier Letter Book
  4. Billion Dollar Marketing
  5. Breakthrough Advertising
  6. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
  7. My First 60 Years in Advertising
  8. Advertising Secrets of the Written Word
  9. Ogilvy On Advertising
  10. Ready, Fire, Aim

What classic marketing books did I miss? Comment below and maybe I’ll add it to this list…




  1. Jim says

    Hi Ryan,

    Great list … thanks!

    I would add “How To Write A Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab.

    Cheers and thanks!


  2. says

    Great post. Here is my “Top Copywriting & Marketing Books of All Time”…

    Scientific Advertising & My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins
    Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
    Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
    How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
    How to Write a Good Advertisement by Vic Schwab
    The System Club Letters by Ken McCarthy
    Cash Copy by Jeffrey Lant
    Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
    The Magic Words That Bring You Riches by Ted Nicholas
    The Secret to Selling Anything by Harry Browne
    Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay by Lester Wunderman
    Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman by Robert R. Updegraff
    A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young
    Great Leads by Michael Masterson and John Forde
    How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling by Frank Bettger
    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

  3. says

    Hi Ryan. I’d add “Scientific Advertising: Crushing Your Competition Like Ants on the Sidewalk” by Claude Hopkins (love THAT title) and “The Ultimate Sales Letter” and just about anything else from Dan Kennedy.

    Loved your visual post!

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning, The Home Biz CEO

  4. says

    Hi Ryan,

    Any list of books about marketing has to have something from Seth Godin (IMHO). I’ve recommended his books to so many people over the years. They’re packed with insight, and very enjoyable to read.



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