I am tempted to cut my review short and run off to a rare book dealer to sell my copy of this book. As I write this, our favorite web site offers a new copy of the book for $564.78 and used versions for roughly $100 apiece. Although something tickles my intuition about the reality of these numbers, I do think this is a good book. Perhaps I'll hold onto it long enough to recommend it to you.
Author Greg Myers aims to provide a comprehensive treatment of the use of language in persuasive advertising. He declares a deeper purpose to entice his target audience of communications students into his specialty, the study of text and its effects on readers and society. He begins with a multipart definition of ads that focuses on their effects and their nature as written text. Following this introduction with a somewhat text-focused history of American advertising, Myers then presents current thinking. He analyses slogans (making similar points to Chip and Dan Heath's Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die) and teaches us how to use careful sentences, mental associations between words, and similar techniques to create effective ad text. Subsequent chapters explore cultural differences in ads, use of conversational language to persuade, effective use of metaphor, and how to make words and graphics work well together. Closing chapters analyze environmental and public health ads, and discuss the importance of understanding and targeting an ad's audience.
Myers' book is a good text on effective use of text. Each chapter is supported by a recommended readings list and the book as a whole is supported by a strong bibliography and helpful glossary. Its only flaw is that it is a bit dated, written before the electronic text revolution of the web. It is still worth reading. Readers may care to supplement with a more current book, such as Frank Luntz's Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear.
And it is apparently a rather good investment as a "rare book."