IMAGE SOURCE: March 1959 Ad created by David Ogilvy
What comes to your mind when you hear the word gratitude?
Probably things like being appreciative or not taking things for granted. Here’s a dictionary definition of gratitude: “the quality of being grateful.”
In this brief Thanksgiving post, we’ll show you how gratitude plays a key role in business.
One of the benefits of experiencing gratitude is the ability to notice and appreciate small details—a benefit that allows you to add greater specificity to your business storytelling. Specificity adds context to your communications, keeps you from being too generic, and makes what you’re saying relatable.
Advertising icon David Ogilvy demonstrated the power of experiencing gratitude in an iconic ad for Rolls-Royce in 1959. In doing his research for the ad, Ogilvy spent three weeks learning everything he could about the new model. Part of this research included riding in the car. Ogilvy noticed how incredibly quiet the ride was, even at higher speeds.
When writing the ad copy, Ogilvy could have simply made note of the quiet. Instead, he used specificity and wrote: “at 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”
Ogilvy’s experience of gratitude for the quiet ride equipped and sensitized him to notice small details. It allowed him to be captivated by the quiet. It was so quiet all he could hear was the clock. These details allowed him to paint a specific picture that was relatable.
Like the consumers his ad was designed to reach, Ogilvy experienced a certain happiness derived from a smooth, quiet ride, and that happiness was, in the words of author G.K. Chesteron, "doubled by wonder" when he realized that all he could hear was the clock’s ticking.
What will you notice this week that's inspired by gratitude?
**Adapted from our book, Win With Decency: How to Use Your Better Angels for Better Business