Tested Advertising Methods (5th Edition) (Prentice Hall Business Classics) Paperback – June 25, 1998
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- Item Weight : 13.1 ounces
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0130957011
- ISBN-13 : 978-0130957016
- Dimensions : 6.06 x 0.65 x 8.98 inches
- Publisher : Prentice Hall; 5th edition (June 25, 1998)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #413,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1) "Caples' Three-Step Approach To Creativity: 1) Capture the prospect's attention. Nothing happens unless something in your mailing, or your commercial makes the prospect stop long enough to pay attention to what you say next. 2) Maintain the prospect's interest. Keep the ad, mailing, or commercial focused on the prospect, on what he or she will get out of using your product or service. 3) Move the prospect to favorable action. Unless enough "prospects" are transformed into "customers," your ad has failed, no matter how creative. That's why you don't stop with A/I/A (Attention, Interest/Action), but continue right on with testing."
2) "Caples' Three-Step Approach to Testing: 1) Accept nothing as true about what works best in advertising until it has been objectively - What Caples called "scientifically" - tested. 2) Build upon everything you learn from testing to create an ever-stronger system that you return to with each new project. 3) Treat every ad as an ongoing test of what has been learned before. When something new works better - or something old stops working - be ready to admit you were wrong about what you thought you "knew." But don't just accept it. Find out why and apply it the next time."
3) "...There are four important qualities that a good headline may possess. They are: 1) Self-Interest 2) News 3) Curiosity 4) Quick, easy way"
4) "The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments that they forger to tell us why we should buy."
5) "Here are some of the things you should notice about the various Reader's Digest openings: 1) They are fact-packed. 2) They are telegraphic. 3) They are specific. 4) They have few adjectives. 5) They arouse curiosity."
6) "By its attention value it (drama) can make a small advertising appropriation do the work of a large appropriation."
7) "Thomas E. Dewey: The advertising profession is an integral part of the life of a free nation. It has helped create markets where markets did not previously exist. It has not merely sold products which the public wanted. It has sold products which the public did not know it wanted. More important still, it has made possible the only free method for the large scale manufacture of goods on a mass basis."
8) "Three well-known and often neglected aids to pulling power are: 1) Short paragraphs, 2) Short sentences, 3) Short words."
9) "Advertising can never become completely accurate, however because of the human element involved - in advertising you are dealing with the minds and the emotions of human beings, and these will always be, to a certain extent, unstable and unmeasurable. That is why it is necessary to test, test, test - to test copy, media, position in publications, seasonal variation, and time of day in broadcast advertising."
10) "Test everything. Doubt everything. Be interested in theories, but don't spend a large sum of money on a theory without spending a little money to test it first."
11) "Four important factors in every advertising campaign" 1) Copy - what you say in your advertisements. This includes the appeal used and the method of expressing that appeal. 2) Media - which magazines, newspapers, broadcasting facilities, or other media you select to carry your message to the public. 3) Position - what position your advertisements occupy in publications; which day of the week or what time of day you select for your broadcast messages. 4) Season - in which months of the year you run most of your advertising."
12) "It (testing) enables you to keep your finger on the public pulse. It enables you to sense trends in advance. It enables you to separate the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, the winning ideas from the duds. It enables you to multiply the results you get from the dollars you spend in advertising."
Top reviews from other countries
John Caples was a naval engineer turned advertising man, and like all engineers, he thrived on feedback and analysis. The only thing that interested him was advertising that sold and he systematically tested small changes to see if he could find things that worked even better.
He was also a creative genius with words. At the age of 25 and within months of starting as a copywriter, he created one of the classic headlines to sell a correspondence course in playing the piano."They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano But When I Started To Play!-"
Within a month, he had reworked the headline to sell a French correspondence course: "They grinned when the waiter spoke to me in French - but their laughter turned to amazement at my reply". This emotional pull - embarrassment turns into unexpected respect - has been reworked many times since.
The book is particularly strong on headlines and a comparison of the results of headlines which have worked against those that didn't. The blunt truth is that if the headline doesn't capture the reader's attention, the advert is ignored and the product isn't sold. These few chapters will pay for the cost of the book on its own many times over.
The rest of the book is also packed with advertising ideas that works. When you see them, you can understand why but when you're trying to put the words together by yourself, things are never this easy.
Fred Hahn has done a good job in bringing this advertising and copywriting classic comparatively up to date with this revision. Modern adverts are used as well as the old classics and you can see how things have developed. Not everyone agrees. I've been watching a series of videos by Drayton Bird (another great copywriter) on this book and he feels the earlier, pure Caples book was stronger.
The advice on headlines has stayed with me since I first read the book. There is some repetition which can get frustrating but I still rate it as a five star book. My copy is covered in highlights to make it easier to review. While the ideas and concepts in this book are referred to in many modern copywriting books, I don't believe that there is any substitute for reading this book.
If you're a copywriter, you need this book along with the other classic texts by Claude Hopkins, Victor Schwartz etc. The language can feel a little old fashioned but the ideas are still very relevant in the 21st century because people's natures don't change.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. I'm also someone fascinated by copywriting and the power to persuade.