I am rereading Tested Advertising Methods, by John Caples. It’s the definitive work on effective advertising, copy and ad testing. If you want to learn all there is to know about successful ad campaigns, read this book.
It provides great insight into testing ad campaigns and then adjusting those campaigns for the best results. Here’s the punchline, though: It was written over 60 years ago. Yes so few ad agencies follow Caples’ lead. Why is that?
I don’t have any easy answers. The grumpy New Jersey native in me says it’s because most folks lack the motivation to undertake really in-depth testing.
But the historian in me says the real cause is entrenchment: For decades, traditional advertising (direct mail, print, radio and TV) was the only game in town. The firms that followed Caples’ script became the Ogilvys of the world. The ones that didn’t made a solid living on pretty creative and never considered how they could do even more for their clients.
More about this book in my next post.
You can find the book on Amazon: Click here.