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My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library) Paperback – February 1, 1966
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0844231010
- ISBN-13 : 978-0844231013
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
- Publisher : McGraw-Hill Education; 1st edition (February 1, 1966)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Not so with this book.
Here, you get a very clean and clear reprint of the 1966 edition. More than 300 pages of Claude Hopkins' unparalleled wisdom based on decades of field-tested experience in the trenches. It makes for great reading (without all the errors of the later editions)!
"Scientific Advertising" is a handbook of best practices, a field guide to what works best. "My Life in Advertising" is a business biography (autobiography) that contains priceless accounts of both victories and defeats, wins and losses, throughout Hopkins' career. We all can learn from both the mistakes and the milestones attained by this gifted and dedicated master!
I'll admit I was a little surprised to find that there is no mention anywhere that 1966 marked the 100th anniversary (CENTENNIAL) of Hopkins' birth! Oh, well. A small and forgivable oversight.
This fascinating volume makes a terrific (and inexpensive) textbook on direct-response advertising and copywriting. Much to learn from this pioneer of modern advertising that still applies today. If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate one minute to get this book -- specifically THIS EDITION -- into your marketing and copywriting library. Pronto!
In the end of the day, any ad should pull enough profits to justify the cost of running it. And if you are not measuring it, or just "branding", how would you ever know if you are getting your money back vs flushing money down the toilet?
If you are a business owner, read this book before ad agencies and other sneaky media sales reps takes your last dollar.. And don't believe in the branding BS, unless you are Coca Cola and have distribution in virtually every location thinkable.
David Ogilwy, which is probably the most famous ad-man in the world, said that every serious advertiser should have read this book at least 7 times. So do yourself a favor and read it at least 3 times. You will thank yourself later (and hopefully read it another 4 times)..
It is interesting to see how a book this old, can still be as relevant today almost a 100 years later..
"Salesmanship-in-print is exactly the same as salesmanship-in-person." If the purpose of advertising is to sell, then its effectiveness can be measured by resulting sales volume. Hopkins tested ads on a small scale before risking money on a large-scale campaign. He also compared results using different headlines in order to discover the best performing approach.
"Never seek to amuse. That is not the purpose of advertising." Hopkins would likely be disturbed by a great deal of modern advertising where creativity overshadows salesmanship.
Hopkins used free trials to successfully penetrate markets, but he felt the word "free" cheapens a product. Instead he would say, "We will buy your first package." He did not find it effective to give away samples to people who did not request them.
"Some say, be very brief... That would be an unthinkable handicap... Every ad. in my opinion, should tell a complete story. It should include every facet and argument found to be valuable. Most people I figure, read a story once, as they do a news item. I know of no reason why they should read it again."
The vocabulary sounds surprisingly modern, with a few exceptions here and there, such as dilatory, folly, palaver, rudiments, and trifle. The prices (one cent postage stamp) and car brands (Chalmers, Hudson, Mitchell, Overland, Reo, Studebaker) add a bit of early twentieth century flavor.
Scientific Advertising (100 pages, 21 short chapters) may be purchased as a standalone volume. The autobiography (200 pages) adds additional context through stories about various campaigns.
With today's trend towards data-driven decisions and increased scrutiny of marketing budgets, this 85-year-old book is surprisingly relevant. While some of the techniques from Hopkins' time may no longer be effective, the fundamental message of Scientific Advertising is timeless.
Top reviews from other countries
I agree with the guru's the man was a genius, I have copies in my collection of various ads that Mr Hopkins created. Not only was he a great copywriter he understood how to structure deals to generate interest, using coupons and direct response mechanisms, that can easily be applied to today.
Here's a quote to end this review.
`Argue anything for your own advantage and people will resist to the limit. But seem unselfishly to consider your customers desires, and they will naturally flock to you.'
It's one of those books you need to read a few times, making notes in the margin, asking yourself the question. How can I apply this to my business?