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Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads: Turning Paupers into Princes and Lead into Gold Paperback – August 10, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Wizard is back. This sequel to Roy Williams' last book The Wizard of Ads gives more advice on business and life. The 101 brief essays in this collection are designed to give insight into human behavior and to make the reader think. Each essay, no more than two or three pages in length, reads almost like an individual fable. The story of Pavlov and his dog is meant to inspire patience and perseverance. Ben and Jerry's success is heralded as a good example of great marketing; Williams says, "Today Ben and Jerry are household heroes" but "was it the ice cream or was it the advertising?"

Secret Formulas provides advice on ad writing and managing a business. It gives insight into what makes people act the way they do and inspires the reader with new ideas for ways to influence people. Moreover, it is a call to action for the reader to apply what was learned in the readings to his or her own life, as most of the essays conclude with an open-ended question directed to the reader to stimulate future action.

This delightfully creative book is cleverly designed to resemble an Old English tome, updated with select photographs, illustrations and quotations sprinkled throughout. It's the kind of book one can open to any chapter that looks interesting and start reading without relying on the previous information for understanding. -- Cindy Patuszynaki, September issue of ForeWordmagazine

From the Publisher

Dear Reader:

Some time ago I published a book titled The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires. That collection of essays by Roy Hollister Williams on life and commerce came into my possession under rather extraordinary circumstances, and I felt compelled to share them with a larger audience.

Shortly after the book's publication, correspondence began to pour in from around the country. People in all walks of life told how the Wizard had radically changed the way they thought about advertising, business, and life. Many asked for more help in putting the Wizard's powerful principles into action. His essays had convinced them of the need to change, but the question in their minds was "How?"

One letter mentioned rumors of and Academy, a school of ancient principles and wisdom, where the elusive Wizard shared his philosophy and teachings with selected students. Intrigued, I began to make inquiries, and, after much effort and expense, I was able to verify its existence. My quest eventually brought into my hands the Wizard's annotated teaching guide and numerous personal effects.

The spirit of the Wizard's work best shines through in one of his letters where he says, "There are as many kinds of Wizards as there are passions in the hearts of humanity, yet a single characteristic is common to them all: Wizards love to be fascinated. Refusing to be restricted by the limitations of the body, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking attained the status of Wizards of Worlds. Read of Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers and you'll witness the birth of Wizards of Wrenches. Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Dr. Seuss stand in a centuries-long line of Wizards of Words. Teddy Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King were Wizards with a Contagious Dream. My question for you is simply this: What kind of Wizard will you be?"

Drawing on the Wizard's teaching guide, here in much of its original form, I offer you this treasure, Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads. It is my hope, and I'm sure the Wizard's as well, that many future wizards find a personal epiphany within its pages.

Ray Bard, Publisher ray@bardpress.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bard Press (August 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885167393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885167392
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read the "Wizard of Ads" in throughout a day. This book "Secret Formulas" was spread over 3 days. I still think it is good, not as good as the first but still much better than the mean.
There is a lot of self-promotion though. Which is precisely what we are not looking for.
Read Ogilvy, he might intimidate you a little but you'll fell the difference in Mastery.
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Format: Paperback
All those in advertising and in business can benefit from the kind of inspiration Roy Williams delivers in "Secret Formulas". The advertising media is so often held hostage for instant success for the ad dollars spent, as if ten magic words all spoken together will instantly remove a business from bankruptcy. Williams gives the reader a real-world view of what businesses should expect from their advertising, and gives several blueprints for success. Be prepared, however; there's no magic potion, no 'eye of newt' that, when added, will turn your business around. It's hard work to create good marketing and advertising, but Williams takes on the complexities of advertising in a way that offers a bounty of food for thought. Those in media sales, especially Radio, ought to have this stuff down cold if they truly want to jet-propel their careers-- and help their clients succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Our Radio clients will all receive a copy of this book for Christmas.
(P.S. I've had the privelege of meeting and talking at length with the author. He's as genuine as they come.)
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Format: Paperback
In a conversation with a retailer discussing the buying habits of the public, he told me, "I follow Roy Williams." The name sounded somewhat familiar. The merchant then said, "want to read his book; I have it in the back?" As soon as I saw the book, I remembered that I had already read "The Wizard of Ads."
Roy H. Williams takes advertising and turns it upside down, right-side up, and inside out. You see what works, what doesn't, and how to walk the narrow path that gives you the best return on your advertising investment dollars.
Most important, Bard Press and Williams make it a great read, good-looking book with substantial pages, big print, no extra verbiage, lots of white space, and new and exciting concepts:
1. Huebner Fifth Rule of Mountaineering: Never look where you don't want to go. 2. Six Tugs of War 3. Calculating your APE 4. Hamp Baker's advertising genius 5. Nitroglycerin 6. The Secret Path to Miraculous Ads 7. Find out the real story of how we got our Statue of Liberty 8. The Buying Public is Your Dog 9. The Three Sacred Cows of Advertising
Williams' concepts are intelligent: better to focus your advertising to reach 10% of your market 100% than throw money at 100% of your market to reach 10%.
Advertising is a complicated art and Williams boils the concepts down to make them user-friendly for you. What more could you want to make you curious about his wisdom?
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Format: Paperback
Some people like those straight forward 12-steps to business success books. I happen to be one of them. They are very focused and industry specific. But what those books lack is a deeper look at why people make the decisions they do.
This book doesn't just talk about what works, it talks about why it works.
In Secret Formulas, Roy Williams deconstructs successful businesses, people, and advertising. Sure, some people may say "what does brain function have to do with advertising"? Here's the thing....EVERYTHING has to do with advertising....how people think, how they make decisions, how their memory works, what their personality type is. History, art, poetry....it's all a part of understanding what makes people tick, what makes them successful.
Want to really be a successful advertiser? Want to build a succesful business? You need to know more than 12 steps. Take a deeper look. Study different people in different industries. These secrets aren't new. They're proven to work. Apply them to your life and business. It's made a huge difference in mine.
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Format: Paperback
As a radio advertising executive, I'm called upon for the usual duties, copywriting and scheduling. But since I deal almost exclusively with direct business, I am also deeply involved in campaign crafting, positioning, and branding. One of my top resources in all this work is The Wizard's Secret Formulas. It never leaves my desk, and is bookmarked, underlined, and well worn with use.
Why? Because when I use this guide, I make more money for my clients, which translates into more money for me. And if you're not in it for the money, it's just a hobby. If you're in it for the money, get this book!
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Format: Paperback
Roy's second book is better than his first. It is hard to stop reading once you start. It has a little bit of everything. You'll find theories on life, business, and advertising. Almost all of it can quickly be recognized as commonsense. After you read it, you'll say, "Why didn't I think of that."
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Format: Paperback
What is branding? How do people really remember you? How do you build your brand? This book gets back to the basics. There really is a magical formula. For you. For your company.
I bought this book because it was different. It disagreed with everything I had previously learned. This book can change the way you think. Forever. My mind turns in a completely new direction. Seeing things from a complete new angle. How can anybody pass up such an opportunity?
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