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Best New Thinking Winner 2010

Bookshop – Advertising Books


This Rigorous Magic, Jim Taylor Steve Hatch 2007 Wiley
I must write a review of this title which is the best book I know about how to develop brand ideas. I use it whenever I run training on integrated communications. And hardly any planners know about it.
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The fall of Advertising and the rise of PR, Al Ries Laura Ries 2002 Harper
OK I've finished it now. This is a hasty an ill considered assault on advertising which is down but definitely not out. If I'm a little waspish in this review its because I think the complementary roles of PR and advertising are extremely important. Brands can achieve phenomenal profile with PR so the kneejerk reaction for ad agencies to recommend advertising has deservedly given the advertising industry a bad reputation (a case for some decent PR if ever I saw one). But this rambling book swings wild punches for 280 pages. "Advertising is art - following painting, sculpture and poetry" which lost their function but carried on anyway. No its not. Clients buy it because they think it works. There's a deserved swipe at the dotcom advertising boom. And old cliche about creativity getting in the way of a decent ad. Why not tell people about the product and stop getting distracted by the creative idea? If Trout and Trout don't understand why advertising is built around creative ideas then they shouldn't be writing books about advertising. Period. Come to that I thought they were brand consultants? Well now they're ploughing the PR furrow. Foolish clients of theirs refused to implement their recommendation to rename Guatemala as Guatamaya, or to rebrand Cuzco as Ciudad de las Incas. Apparently if your brand name is silly nobody will ever buy it in quantity. Which brings them onto their key thesis. Brands are always built by PR and defended by advertising. That's the rule. Virtually no account is given of why a client will set out to use advertising to accentuate and accelerate their rise as category leader or how advertising can be used to confuse the issue so the brand's share of mind is bigger than its presence on the ground. This is exactly why clients spend a fortune on advertising. According to Trout and Trout this never has been and never will be successful. Case unproven. But if anyone has written a decent book on the complementary roles of PR and advertising then I'd like to hear from them. Because we need one.
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The hidden power of advertising, Robert Heath 2001 WARC
Check out the page in the In their own words section. Includes an interview with the author
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£9.99, Frederic Beigbeder 2002 Picador
Check out the page in the In their own words section dedicated to £9.99 Includes an interview with the author
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The art of writing advertising, Ed Dennis Higgins 1986 NTC
I think Amazon fed me this one, a series of interview with some of the advertising greats: Bernbach,Ogilvy, Burnett, Reeves. Very readable. Drawn from the great age of print advertising when they regard TV advertising as a bit newfangled. Rosser Reeves comes across as a total thug - effective ads should lobotomise you - wit is for wimps. Perhaps the most interesting thing is the almost total absence of talk about brands. All about selling product and doing great campaigns. Fascinating.
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Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison 1999 Prentice Hall
Haven't read this yet but a lot of my former colleagues at CDP have and thought it brilliant. A colleague has met/worked with Aitchison in Asia and I gather he can make ads as well as he writes about them.
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Excellence in Advertising, Ed Leslie Butterfield 1999 Butterworth Heinemann
Spotted this on the Amazon site and Hamish Pringle gave it a rave review. A number of eminent UK ad people have contributed chapters. It's on the wanted list!
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Disruption, Jean Marie Dru 1996 Wiley
This is the longest creds presentation in the English language. It makes a couple of interesting points which would each merit a presentation but goes on for 200 pages. What is most infuriating is the way he keeps dodging about and doubling back to explain why XYZ brand doesn't actually meet the criteria of disruption he has just laid out but is pretty fab anyway and is the exception that proves the rule. He will say ANYTHING if he thinks he can get new business out of it. Which is fair enough in a creds presentation but becomes exceedingly tiresome in a book. I doubt I'll go back to it. Sorry.....
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Up the agency, Peter Mayle 1990 Pan
He wrote A year in Provence. Ah but before that he was an adman. So this is a breezy and irreverent introduction to agency life. Very droll. And true.
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This : A Guide to Creating Great Ads, Luke Sullivan 1997 Adweek Books
A book by a creative for creatives. Very practical, lots on craft skills of thinking and shaping the creative idea and there are some cracking ads in the book.
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