My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Marketing/Sales/Advertising & Promotion) Paperback – 16 Jan 1966
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From the Back Cover
This volume contains his two landmark books. Scientific Advertising--the classic primer still read by today's top copywriters--was originally written in 1923. Four years later, he finished his autobiography, My Life in Advertising.
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Top customer reviews
"Advertising is just Salesmanship..."
I would like to a day I will just have ONE book on my desk on Advertising, this one.
I believe if I decide to Master the core principles of this book, this will be the ONLY book needed on Advertising.
The more I read and I see, this book IS the Masterpiece on Advertising.
Other books that exist on the field – in my opinion – are just big books of what this book already said.
Clearly this book covers all A to Z of the "essence" of Advertising.
It is the "Bible" of Advertising.
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?
This book is an interesting historical resource - I remember that my mother had a Bissels carpet sweeper, and it is therefore interesting to discover how Hopkins helped them achieve market domination through the development of a USP which, interestingly, had nothing to do with the machines' technology. We also learn of Hopkins' involvement with other brands that are still well known today - Palmolive, Goodyear Tyres and Quaker Oats - while it is also interesting to realise how many of the great brands of the 1880s to 1920s have now vanished.
Hopkins wrote the book as a guide to others, and opinions will differ as to whether what he says about advertising is still relevant. Hopkins repeats the importance of testing advertising effectiveness, tracing the cost of acquiring a customer, the value of subsequent sales and the lifetime value of a customer. He believed in testing on a small scale first, and demonstrated that sales statistics calculated on those small scale tests would be repeated later in larger, often national, campaigns. He emphasises that it is the headline of an advertisement that gets attention and makes the difference, having tested many adverts with the same content but different headlines and tracked different response rates. He believed in telling the story about a product and using personal stories about key people in businesses. Ads, he said, should be "salesmanship in print", a term he picked up while working at the Thomas & Lord agency. He advocated offering free samples, but that these should not be distributed "promiscuously" but should be available for collection, on delivery of a coupon, through the normal retail outlets. He used guarantees to reassure potential customers, but wrote them in commercially cautious ways.
Much subsequent marketing theory is here in nascent form - Hopkins doesn't use the terms USP, market segmentation or targeting for example, but the ideas are all here. While Hopkins uses the term advertising, his techniques went well beyond the tight definition of advertising into other marketing methods - direct mail, point of sale support for retailers and other techniques. This book is not narrowly focussed, and that is why I believe that it stands the test of time. Hopkins used the media that were available to him at the time, but the principles that he applied are largely applicable with the other media now available, including all of the various online promotional channels. Indeed, he would have been excited by the many new ways of tracking advertising effectiveness that new technology has made possible, while being astonished how much advertising effectiveness is still not measured.
What is missing, and what would make a great research project, would be to find examples of the actual adverts, sales letters and pamphlets that Hopkins wrote, and if possible also to find the data that he compile to measure their effectiveness. In fact - it's probably been done - if anyone knows of such papers do please point me in the right direction.
These books are both easy to read, and I agree with David Ogilvy: " nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven time". I'd go further: I think that you can safely substitute the newer work "marketing" for the older "advertising".
who would find this book useful:
copywriters, Internet marketers,advertisers of all kinds, direct mail or anything to do with REAL marketing.
this book is a classic but its not a 'short course' - for that purpose I would recommendVictor Shwartz How to write a good advertisement.How to Write a Good Advertisement which is practical and straight to the point.
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