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Tested Advertising Methods (5th Edition) (Prentice Hall Business Classics) Paperback – June 25, 1998

95 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Prentice Hall Business Classics
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 5th edition (June 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130957011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130957016
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is so good because Caples was in the mail order advertising business for forty-something years, and that's one of the few kinds of advertising that gets real feedback. Ads can be tested and the results can be compared. So Caples gives you FACTS rather than opinions about what works in advertising.
The book is very informative and also very interesting because Caples will show you two examples of ads he ran as a split-run and says "one sold three times more than the other; can you guess which one?" Then he'll tell you, and tell you WHY.
Not only that, but the book is extremely readable. I'm the author of Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on putting the most useful information into a readable form, and this book is as good as it gets. As David Ogilvy says in the introduction, "This is, without a doubt, the most USEFUL book about advertising that I have ever read." No more endorsement than that is needed!
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By MAT on July 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read this book twice cover to cover and refer to it almost everyday. If I could have given this book 6 stars I would have done it without reservation.
I have ordered and read at least 4 different books on copywriting and advertising in the last year. Most of the books have good ideas, but none of them describe the methods of writing headlines the way Caples does. He spends 4 chapters on it and let me tell you when he is finished you will know it cold! Personally that would have been enough to sell me on the book, but he doesn't stop there. He talks about scientific advertising to make sure you are writing ads that sell and not waste money. In addition, he talks through how to write the first paragraph and how to structure the copy. Finally, he spends time to talking about how to improve the selling power of copy.
Since I have read this book my ability to write copy has reached a whole new level. If you are in this field or responsible for writing copy I would advise you that this is a book you MUST own.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By CopywritingGuy on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
The above headline was seriously touted by the 5th edition of this book as an example of a *good* headline. No, I am not kidding. It's on page 59.

John Caples himself would have said it was a crappy headline (no pun intended) because there's no news, it doesn't offer you anything you'd want, and it doesn't arouse your curiosity.

The 5th edition of this book is ruined by all the garbage added by whoever "revised" it.

The other reviewer who said to get the 4th edition is absolutely right. Bottom line: do not buy the 5th edition sold by Amazon. Instead look for a used bookseller offering the 4th edition or earlier. The book that was actually written by Caples is one of the most valuable marketing books, period.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael Temple on June 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
There's a reason why David Olgilvy calls this the most useful advertsing book he's ever read! I hold a Ph.D in Sales/Marketing and they simply DO NOT teach this money producing stuff enough at our colleges and universities! Instead, most of them opt for creative mush that's clever and makes for good awards and 5 minute speeches....but doesn't sell anything! If you want simple, brass tacks, powerful advertising advice, this book will be the most delapidated marketing resource in your library!
Is you're serious, RUN, don't walk to the checkout and pickup this incredible book. You'll pay guys like Dan Kennedy hundreds and even thousands of dollars for this advice...but it's all right here! Good stuff!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pamela K. Gitta on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Caples is one of advertising's greats, the author of many people's choice for the most successful ad of all time*; Vice President of BBDO for many years; and AdAge's #21 on its list of 100 Top People of the 20th Century. The world's most prestigious creative marketing award is named after him: The John Caples International Award.

He wrote several books, but Tested Advertising Methods is both his most popular and his most useful. I can't imagine a copywiter (and by that I mean anyone who ever writes copy) working without it. First, he explains that advertising is not a science, because you can never predict public opinion with guaranteed results. But you can use a scientific approach to your ads, and by testing, testing, testing them with first one headline and then another, first one offer and then another, you can arrive at an ad that is probably going to be successful. This book tells you how to do that.

Five of its 18 chapters are dedicated to writing headlines, which is as it should be. "If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read," he tells us, and offers 29 different formulas for writing good headlines. Other chapters that stand out, deal with "appealing to the masses," and "the right appeal." The chapter on small ads tells not only how to write them, but what sort of products to write them for.

Caples includes many famous ads, reproduced in full and accompanied by his notes on why they did or didn't work. They're a treasure chest for anyone who does his best learning by example. Many of them will sound old-fashioned ("Here's an Extra $50, Grace. I'm making real money now!"), but their basic principles are solid, and it just takes a little imagination to re-work them for today's audience.
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