I just finished reading Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins (1866-1932). It was first published 40-50 years ago, written by a guy who started his adult life as a lay preacher. Doesn’t sound like a great recipe for a guide to advertising in the internet age.
But this book is a must if you’re serious about advertising. Hopkins can get a little preachy (hello, started as a lay preacher) but his advice is sound, practical and timeless. Nuggets include:
- Don’t use pictures unless they add to the message.
- Measure everything.
- Give specifics in your ads.
These methods work. They always have. They always will.
You don’t have to take my word for it though: David Ogilvy said:
“Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book (Scientific Advertising) seven times.”