When you’re part of the advertising fraternity, inevitably you’ll want to either enhance your knowledge or expand your perspective. Fortunately, there are some outstanding books written by phenomenal advertising veterans that you can get your hands on. Whether you need to hone your skills or start from scratch, here are some books that will help you gain invaluable insights.
3 Best Advertising Books to read in 2020
#1. Ogilvy on Advertising
I remember reading this book when I started my career in advertising as a copywriter. At the time, I barely knew the difference between writing copy, and well, just writing. This book certainly shifted my perspective in all the right ways. It’s old, but gold. The book was first published in 1983 and has been a hit ever since. David Ogilvy covers just about everything, right from crafting content, brand positioning and image building to the power of big ideas, word-of-mouth, direct response and creativity. Digital marketing and social media isn’t touched upon obviously, but the tenets in the book can be applied across all marketing platforms and that’s the beauty of the book. Humorous and easy to read, this book can definitely change your whole approach to your advertising career, no matter what your role is.
“When everybody zigs, Zag,” says Marty Neumeier. If you’re running short of time, Zag is probably the book you want to read. It’s quite short and you can finish it in a day or less. But don’t mistake the brevity of content for lack of content. This book definitely packs a punch. The main takeaway from the book is differentiation. You have to demonstrate to customers why and how your product is not just different, but radically different. Zag features a brand marketing model represented through four variables : Focus, Difference, Trend and Communication. The book guides you through 17 steps to leverage all four elements. Neumeier also cleverly makes use of the Rock-Paper-Scissors analogy to depict companies at different stages. Zag is a memorable read and definitely the cool kid on the advertising block.
#3 Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
This book is a little different, in the sense that it doesn’t have one overarching idea that represents the book as a whole. Rather, it comes with a variety of recommendations that are presented with clarity. An enjoyable read, it contains a step-by-step guide to every aspect of advertising. What makes this book awesome is not its greatest print ads of the last 60 years or its amazing advice on how to create ads. What makes it stand out is how it wonderfully captures the essence of working in a first-rate creative department. With chapters dedicated to print, online media, television and radio, it’s a well-structured book and flows well from start to finish. Learn about the value of authenticity, simplicity, conflict and relevance in an advertising and marketing context. Moreover, its intriguing chapter headers like “Pecked to Death by Ducks” and “Why is the Bad Guy always more Interesting” pique your interest to delve into the knowledge and insight this book offers. Needless to say, I was certainly entertained.