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by Rosser Reeves

This book was a bit of a letdown.

Written 1960, Rosser Reeves composed this book to quickly yet thoroughly explain the many truths of advertising. While many of these ideas were revolutionary at the time, today they are the basics found in any high school textbook about advertising.

The one thing that bothered me most was Rosser's use of fake case studies to illustrate his points. To me, there was something very phony about this, especially how in every fictitious case study, his theories reigned supreme!

Big surprise!

What I did like were several of the ideas that were clearly the offspring of a lot of time and research.

Make no mistake, this book was the result of decades of trial-and-error in advertising tactics and strategies. In he industry we call this, "paid to learn."

Of the many truths this books laid out, was the following:

  1. It is better to run a substandard campaign for 10 years in a row, than interrupt it and start a new brilliant campaign. This kills all of your progress in penetrating your customers' mind (Penetration: the amount of people who remember your ad).
  2. Every company needs a "U.S.P." Unique Selling Proposition. A U.S.P. is why a company states it is superior to the competition, and what benefits should draw the customer in.
  3. The more that people remember one brand, the less they remember the competitors of that brand.

A few of his theories I disagree with, such as it is better to advertise to a lot of people once, versus advertising to a smaller group several times. Maybe in the days when advertising was a series of billboards, radio spots and television commercials; today however, with all of the promotional noise, one must see an ad several times before they begin to acknowledge it.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to marketing and advertising professionals looking to dive into some relaxing nostalgia about the industry. However, I think small business people would be better severed reading John Jantsch or Seth Godin. 

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Don't compete — DOMINATE.

 

Matt Steffen

"Don't compete -- DOMINATE!"

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