- Hardcover: 153 pages
- Publisher: Knopf (March 12, 1961)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394442288
- ISBN-13: 978-0394442280
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reality in Advertising Hardcover – March 12, 1961
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Top Customer Reviews
Any copywriter or advertiser who is not fortunate enough to own a copy of this book is a sad character indeed. It is a gem. If you have to pay $300 for it, buy it. In your hands you'll own the most dynamic truth ever written about selling your clients products and services and writing great copy, making advertising pay major dividends.
You say this book was written in 1960. How valuable could it be today? Perhaps more valuable than many books being offered up by contemporary writers. What you discover in this book are practices that most people no longer use. That's sad because they're taking money, profits, off the table. They're losing market share. Advertisers are paying for sales copy and ad campaigns that will never work because big egos are involved.
While many of the books written today about advertising on the Internet, for example, will be outdated in a few years, this book, I venture, will never be outdated. While many copywriters today attempt to be great writers who are admired by their peers; writers who are puffy and more interested in selling their own skills than their client's products, Rosser Reeves was interested in one thing --- selling every widget he could for his clients. That's what this book is all about. That's why I love it and value it. That's why it is indeed a classic.
In the book, Reeves shoots down many of his contemporaries. He shoots down myths.Read more ›
Reeves was an opponent of image advertising, literary copy, and changing ads frequently. He saw advertisements as salespeople, not performers. He also believed you should try to reach more people instead of reaching a focused market more frequently.
Previous theories stated that advertising existed to increase name awareness or build a brand image. "Reality In Advertising" was a blunt break from these earlier traditions. By the 1960s Reeve's was seen as ham-handed old timer by proponents of the advertising creative revolution, which fused ironic advertising with social movements. In the 1970s, Al Ries and Jack Trout coined the positioning concept, which suggests a more competitive approach. Another common term is the "value proposition," which measures the difference between benefit and price. Today some believe that advertising itself is outdated, and that only user generated content such as this review will advance a brand.
I believe all of these approaches can be useful depending on the situation. Many of the ideas in "Reality In Advertising" are out of date, but the concept of a Unique Selling Proposition can be effective. For example, the iPhone apps advertising used a USP. The USP works well when you have a really unique feature of your product or service.Read more ›
It's a pleasant, quick read, but its insights are few and far between.
Here are the interesting tidbits, some obvious, others less so.
1. You need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) - the concept that the reader comes away with. It must tout a specific benefit, that is unique in the category (or at least not claimed by or widely recognized in others), and be persuasive enough to lure new customers over to you.
2. Advertising is the art of getting a USP into the heads of the most people at the lowest cost.
3. Ad effectiveness varies enormously. Measure the following factors to make sure you're not wasting your money - and to see how your competitors stack up.
(3A) Penetration: The percentage of people who remember your current advertising.
(3B) Usage Pull: The percentage of customers among people who remember versus don't remember your advertising. This can be negative for a bad ad.
An ad campaign's overall effectiveness is the Penetration times the Usage Pull. Doubling the effectiveness effectively doubles the ad dollars.
4. Techniques to optimize effectiveness:
(4A) Stick to a single, strong claim, to avoid diluting the power of your core message. Secondary messages are fine only if they reinforce the core message.
(4B) Copy sometimes fails to convey the intended USP. Test the copy by asking readers to articulate the message, and calculating the percent that get it right.
(4C) Don't change your ad campaign - even over decades.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What is interesting about this book is the principles still hold true even in the age of digital advertising. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ant Blair
One of the classics of advertising. The USP was revolutionary when Reeves brought it to the advertising world's awareness. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
“Much of the gibberish of modern advertising is meaningless. The petty striving to magnify miniscule differences, thrown into a slick Madison Avenue argot, [has] the flavor of wet... Read morePublished 7 months ago by The Agency Review
I lost my first copy at some point in the eighties, right around the time when its lessons became more essential than ever as the advertising's move into entertainment and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Marty Morawski
This book really is the genesis of what are marketed today as new ideas. Reeves' USP is the bedrock on which all other branding and positioning strategies are built. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Web Buyer
A phenomenal book, as relevant today as it was when it was written.Published 19 months ago by michael strickland
Hard to find good copies of this landmark book from '60's ad man Rosser Reeves. Even 50 years later there are some remarkable insights in the short book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mark Coudray
the book brings a bit of statistics into the advertising world.
nothing today is not well understood and achieved.
Neverteless the USP pages are enlightening. Read more
The single greatest book on modern advertising ever written. The word "bible" is overused to decribe great books, but this is worthy of the tag. Read morePublished on January 6, 2000 by bill schley