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on January 22, 2004
My list of must read books for those who want to enter the advertising field or are already in it and want to expand their skills keeps growing. After reading "Hey, Whipple.." I've added another great book to my list of recommendations.
Luke Sullivan is a well-known, award-winning copywriter who's been around for some time, but who still manages to keep a fresh perspective. And this book probably demonstrates why. Sullivan definitely loves the art of advertising and copywriting. While this is not a strict how to book, it does contain serious advice on the ins-and-outs of copywriting and advertising.
Sullivan wisely keeps an irreverent tone throughout the book, all the while taking us through the process of ad creation. He even skewers a few advertising icons along the way. Even if you are not an advertising professional or someone with an interest in advertising, this book is an entertaining read and well worth the price of admission.
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on October 14, 1999
Sorry, couldn't resist. This is a must-have, especially for all junior copywriters. With a sense of humor and simplicity, the author delivers a book you'll read in a night, and the inspiration to write tomorrow's one-show winner. He tackles everything from radio production to presenting your own work. So if you feel like you're working under a Creative Dictator. Here's your replacement. You'll be inspired even if you're just working on some flaky cereal ad
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on July 13, 2004
So about two weeks ago I started an internship at one of the largest advertising companies in the world. I considered myself very lucky because I hadn't even had a class in advertising. On my first day, two of the other interns recommended this book to me. They individually attend two top advertising schools in the country and were both highly recommended this book by their professors, calling it the Bible of Advertising, The Book of Luke. I figured it might give me a better clue so I didn't look like a total idiot at my new position so I picked it up.
Amazing! I can't believe how right they were. It gave me such a better understanding of what I should be doing and in such a humorous way that it didn't feel like I was reading a textbook, it felt like I was having a casual conversation with a hilarious, experienced professional. Quick read.
I highly recommend this book, it gives you the facts straight out in a way that's not only educational but extremely entertaining. If you're looking for a book to get insight into this exciting world, get this one and then if you don't like it, check out one of the million books he recommends at the end of the book.
Buy it. Enjoy! :-)
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...And it's also just fun to read. If you love great ads, and want to know more about where they come from and how they're thought up, this is a great book. If you're aspiring to get into the biz, this is your FIRST stop. (Several other titles mentioned by previous reviewers here are also recommended.) Sullivan show the writing process and the thinking that goes on behind it. The book is loaded with examples of great ads. As for the reviewer below who implied he's on an ego trip because he included so many of his ads, he actually only included one ad that he himself did, and his modesty throughout the book is notable. As for the infamous (by now) Lone Voice of Dissent, I really don't get his diss. Does he think the book never should have been written? One is free to ignore what he says and do whatever ads he wants. He seems to be saying because he's stuck doing Whipple, that's all we all should be permitted to do. Grow up. Or switch jobs. Or leave the industry; it's got plenty of hacks as is.
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on October 25, 1999
This is a Read In A Day book tht cracks u up as often as u find yourself nodding in agreement. I have just started up a Danish branch of a Scandinavian advertising chain and I found myself using so many quotes for Nu Bizz meetings, colleagues and even my own grrrlfriend to xplain why I did what I did, trying to solve a campiagn in the best (and most creative way, as I am the Art Director). I especially like the "legs up, looking at my partners tennishoes, talking about the last movie we watched", as in how the ideas pop up. THT IS BRILLIANT! But also the stressed out woman in the airport, flight delayed, meat stuck in between teeth, flicking through a mag, backwards, as our target group.
This book is so full of the best observations and u will use them yourself, as sooon as u put down the book, I am sure. But, u will pick it up again, this book deserves a re-read again and again! Thnx Luke!!!!!!
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on January 20, 2005
I'm a creative director at an ad agency. Occasionally some lucky/unlucky newbie actually gets me on the phone. You would be surprised at how many folks who claim to want a job in advertising want a mini-course in advertising from me. Nopers Bucko, my hours are billable - show me you're serious first. Read these books, call me back. Then I'll hug you to my bosom and rock you like Oprah/David Ogilvy. No really, I will.

I tell them that the first thing I'm going to do is save them some cash. This book is the ONLY book about creativity that an ad creative needs. Don't be fooled by the books with a wacky dude with a lightbulb over his head promising to jumpstart your creativity. Life jumpstarts your creativity. If you have any actual talent at all, you just need to learn how to pound all of that stuff into a good ad.

This book is from one of the living greats of this business and he gives you the best description of advertising life.

There are about five other books that constitute a full course meal of basic ad know-how, but you're going to have to wait for my So You Wanna Guide for that. Unless you are one of the lucky/unlucky souls that gets me on the phone.
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on June 15, 2006
If this book were a sandwich, it would be lovingly served on the bread
of your choice, still warm from the oven. It would be stuffed with mouth-watering, drool-inducing fillings. It would come with chips, cooked just so, and it would be nestled against a generous side of pickles. It would sit snuggly next to a glass of great beer frosted with
dew drops of icy condensation. Lunch time would last weeks, the hours of siesta would trickle by with glacial stealth, and every day would be Saturday. Heaven. Bliss.

But it's not a sandwich, it's a book. You cannot eat it (although some of you may try), but it's a book that needs to be savored, digested, and reflected on as the world passes by.

It's intelligent, witty, thought-provoking, and informative, but without being preachy. It's not a text book. No. It's better than that: it's a goldmine.

My copy of "Hey Whipple ..." is dog-eared, battered, abused, and well-thumbed. It has lots of little notes in the margins, in the gutters, and across the headers, and when it's shut, a patina of grubby marks graces the edges of the pages.
But it isn't shut for long. No. Not this book.

When I first read it I thought I'd won the lottery. I wanted to keep it a secret while also spending lavishly. And little by little, it gained the aforementioned adornments. Scars of battle. Badges of courage in the face
of adversity.

Sadly, this book will not make you a copywriter. Only time will do that ... time, working with people you like and can learn from, and by producing great ideas that then turn into great work that's bought by clients willing to take a chance on your off-the-wall notions of the things their brand can do.

But if you're looking to get your foot in the door of advertising, this book is your set of skeleton keys. Use it wisely, learn, enjoy, and, above everything else, have fun. And one last thought: bon appetit.
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on July 1, 2002
from laughing so hard. Luke punctuates sound advice with witty quips when you least expect them. If you read this book on the bus, be prepared for some funny stares from the person sitting next to you.
On the serious side I found this book extremely illuminiating and very useful. Plenty of food for thought.
Luke offers his own gems of wisdom on how to write ads that are as applicable to the seasoned veteran as to the newcomer. His advice is peppered with examples throughout of well known advertising campaigns such as Volkswagon, Nike and Apple Computer. He takes his readers on the ad-writing journey, pointing out pitfalls along the way and sharing the insights of 20+ years industry experience. Writing for Print, TV and Radio are all dealt with indepth in this book.
Luke devotes a chapter on how to make a great tv commercial taking you through every aspect of its production: from its conception to finding the right director, casting considerations, shooting and post production. A chapter is also dedictaed to TV's poorer cousin - radio and again he takes his reader through all its aspects from creation to production. Once you have created your ad in whatever medium, the next step is getting it past your client who can possibly fall into 1 of 10 categories - hopefully yours won't be the Meat Puppet, the Bully or the Koncept Krusher. If you aren't so lucky, you'll at least feel a lot better by realising your situation is hardly unique. Great advice is also provided in the chapter entitled "Pecked to Death by Ducks - presenting and protecting your work". A chapter is also devoted for advice for newcomers on how to get into the business and the last chapter entitled "Making shoes versus making shoe commercials - is this a great business or what?" is a final kick in the pants to get into the industry, or be thankful to be there.
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This is one of those rare insider books that outsiders will enjoy immensely. The first time I read anything like this, I was just starting out as a cub copywriter. The book was titled "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor," and it absolutely cracked me up. (The title was taken from an ad written by the author, Jerry Della Femina, for Panasonic. Mercifully, it never ran.) Later I discovered the truth of just about everything Della Femina had to say about the business, including "It's the most fun you can have with your pants on." (Or was that George Lois, one of Della Femina's contemporaries?) Whatever, Luke Sullivan's book is very much like Jerry's. It gives you a true but delightfully skewed peek at a world everyone thinks they know a lot about, but really don't have a clue. I've been freelancing for a decade now, and it was great fun viewing today's ad agency scene through the eyes of one of its more successful practitioners. It's interesting to learn about all the surface changes, and fun to find out that nothing has really changed at all -- same heroes, same villains, same virtues, same vices. Whether you're part of the ad biz or not, you're going to enjoy this book. And for those who want to learn the copywriting trade, it's a rich, bubbling wellspring of advice and information. If this were a cheesy ad, (which it kind of resembles), I'd be tempted to end it with a cheesy call-to-action. Something like "Order yours today!"
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on September 3, 1998
This is one of the most enthusiastic, easy to read books on advertising I've seen. I wish I'd had it when I was starting out as a Jr. Copywriter 10 years ago. Sullivan strikes me very much as a creative purist so you have to take that into account as you read. (Because whether you hate Whipple or not, he sold a lot of toilet paper!) Nonetheless, this book is perfect for the junior writer or artist who needs to learn the business and the creative process. Extra perfect for the suits that routinely strangle our admittedly brilliant ideas. The ad examples are actually current and relevant. I'm only about half way through the book and I can hardly wait to pass it around the office.
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