Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
The unusual thing about this book is that Claude C. Hopkins was a US advertising specialist way back in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Hopkins is now regarded as the world’s first great advertising pioneer.
Claude Hopkins saw advertising as something that should be used to sell.
That might sound like an odd statement, but the fact is that many people even today regard advertising as something that a business should just do without expecting any definite results.
Such as advertising for PR or informational effect. Or as an ego platform to satisfy the creative desires of the advertising agency people.
Hopkins believed advertising should be approached scientifically, with all outlay and sales results carefully monitored, measured and compared.
The Web now makes ad campaign monitoring much more precise and easier than ever. But obviously there was no Internet back in the 1920s.
So to track the results of his advertising, Hopkins used coded coupons and tested his sales copy headlines and offers against one another to monitor their effectiveness.
It was Hopkins who invented the concepts of test marketing, pre-emptive advertising and sampling technology.
In 1923 Claude Hopkins wrote his book called “Scientific Advertising” in which he set out his ideas and practical experience of advertising.
Even though this book was written almost a century ago, and the advertising landscape has changed enormously since then, the know-how contained in the book is still relevant today.
“Scientific Advertising” is recognized by some of the world’s great advertising and marketing professionals such as David Ogilvy, Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert as THE classic text for anyone who works in or wants to work in advertising and marketing.
David Ogilvy once said: “Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times.”
Hopkins teaches us that advertising is much more science than art. We let ourselves get carried away with creativity and fancy marketing ideas, but we do so only at our own peril.
The fact is that advertising is always about selling. And measuring is the only way to prove that your selling ideas will work.
Hopkins ideas were highly advanced for his time. Claude Hopkins revolutionized the world with his radical views on advertising and marketing. If Hopkins was alive today, I reckon he would absolutely dominate present day Internet marketing and e-commerce and he’d be the number one voice on Web and digital marketing.
A few years later Hopkins also published his autobiography “My Life in Advertising”. Also well worth reading.
If you’re interested in learning about how to advertise effectively, then Claude Hopkins “Scientific Advertising” is an all time classic you should take the time to read.
It should also be read by every advertising agency employee in danger of becoming too creative at the cost of selling – which means probably the majority.
A must read. Or as David Ogilvy says “a must read seven times over”.
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