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Good reading in advertising and marketing

A colleague sent me this note today:  “A friend of mine is getting into undergrad teaching in SF and was wondering what I could recommend for reading, I told her “Hey Whipple” and Malcom Gladwell’s stuff, but that I would ask you.”  Here’s my reply. I’m sure my quick list is missing some good books. Please add your recommendations in the comments section.

– “Made To Stick” talks about developing good ideas and communicating them so they catch on. It’s not about advertising, but it addresses core issues in advertising. It’s an easy read.

– I like all ad students to be able to think like planners. “Hitting the Sweet Spot” and “Truth, Lies, & Advertising” are good on that subject.

A good guide to idea generation in any business including advertising.

A good guide to idea generation in any business including advertising.

– The PBS Frontline show called “The Persuaders” is a great intro into the basics of the brand communication process. It’s not a “reading,” but it’s good. Free to watch online.

– For the creative side, I like “Creative Advertising: Ideas and techniques from the world’s best campaigns” by Mario Pricken. It nicely spells out the creative brainstorming process.

– “Zag” by Marty Neumeier is an introduction to brand concepts and strategies. It’s a concise and easy-to-read review of the basics.

– I agree with your pick of Gladwell. I like “Tipping Point” and “Blink.” I have not read “Outliers” yet, but it’s on my list.

– “How Brands Become Icons” (by Douglas Holt) is about big brands like Coke, Nike, and Bud. I like how the author spells out cultural branding and shows how it works for any brand — big and small, national and local.

– Call me nostalgic… I still like “Ogilvy on Advertising.”

– For beginning art direction, a subscription to “How” magazine is good. The “Before & After” newsletter does a nice step-by-step of creating stuff.

– “Communication Arts” magazine.

– I also agree with you on “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.”

– On the marketing side, I use a lot of articles from the AMA magazine called “Marketing News.” The reoccurring article called “Best In Class” is usually a good place to find good case studies.

– To learn how to get a job and to have a good career in advertising, marketing, and any business, “Radical Careering” is tops.

Okay. What did I leave off?  What should not be on this list? Share your comments, please.


2 Responses

  1. Hey I’m the newbie here… just wanted to introduce myself, I’m Ken. I guess I should start participating instead of just reading the posts all the time. I thought about starting my own board but I’m glad I found this one instead. Great Info!

  2. Hey Scott!
    Have you checked out “The Starbucks Experience” by Joseph A. Michelli? It’s a great read..

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