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by David Ogilvy

Written in 1963, this is the first book written by David Ogilvy (who also authored Ogilvy on Advertising), who most consider the father of modern advertising.

Simply put, this book is as much a guide for opening a 7-figure advertising agency (in the 1960s!) as much as it is a guide to practical advertising.

Among the many lessons Ogilvy is proud to share from his decades of experience, is:

  • Don't focus on making ads entertaining -- make them sell. Advertising is salesmanship in print.
  • Follow the lessons of editors for writing copy because they are often better at writing than advertisers.
  • Never change an ad because it seems 'old.' If sales are steady, so is your advertising. Little Caesars learned this the hard way.
  • An ad should be very simple, straightforward, focus on the benefit of the offering, and NEVER use negative words. For example, "Why You Shouldn't Use Anything Except XYZ." Huh?
  • Measure everything! Ogilvy said "no one should have anything to do with advertising until they read Scientific Advertising" for a reason!

Obviously, this book is outdated in some content, but NOT in execution.

For example, where Ogilvy talks about direct mail or free samples, you should be focused on applying those lessons to email and Social Media marketing.

For seasoned marketers, there will be a lot of redundancy in what you already know. However, if you've ever wondered what the justifications for the advertising laws and maxims you have been reading about come from, it's all right here.

In this book you'll learn how a well-read, intellectual leveraged the powers of hard work, meticulous measurement, painstaking research and capitalism to create one of the most successful ad agencies of all-time.

Ogilvy truly wrote the book on advertising.

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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.