January 4, 2017

Book review: The Advertising Solution

In the next few days I’m going to review the books I read over Christmas. We’re starting today with The Advertising Solution, by Craig Simpson and Brian Kurtz.

The Advertising Solution

I don’t often read advertising books anymore, so The Advertising Solution was a rare exception. That isn’t to say I know everything about advertising – far from it. I reference a number of classic advertising books regularly, but it’s been a while since I read one cover to cover.

I was excited about this book because I’ve followed Brian Kurtz for a few years. He’s well-known in the direct marketing world, and his blog posts are usually excellent.

What Kurtz and Simpson have identified is that very few students of marketing bother to study classic direct marketing. The book singles out six direct marketing ‘legends’, and analyses what each had to say about promotions, salesmanship, copywriting, creativity and testing.

If you haven’t read books like The Robert Collier Letterbook, Breakthrough Advertising, Scientific Advertising, or Ogilvy on Advertising, the Advertising Solution distils the key lessons into 200 pages.

If you are familiar with all of these works, you’ll find the book to be something of a rehash. You’ll find yourself skipping over pages, and wanting to go back to the original works.

I think this is a useful book for beginners, but I was a little disappointed that most of the book is a summary of the older books. For me, there is too much summary and not enough comment.

I get that the old classics are important, and well worth studying. But I really wanted to hear more from the authors; perhaps specific examples from their own experience of the principles in action.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.