One thing I’m really thankful for is that I still found time to read in college. I enjoyed taking some time to go to Chapters to break away from the college book store filled with text book style reads. However, even in a different store, I still felt guided to books related to my program. Studying advertising at the time, you could find me in the business section of Chapters, never knowing what to get, but hoping I would come out with a new favourite. While I have read many great books, three in particular are ones that I started to read in college and have stuck with me ever since. They weren’t a requirement for my program, rather just books I wanted to learn more from.
1. UnMarketing by Scott Stratten
I actually have 3 out of Scott’s 4 books. They are all filled with excellent advice and humour, but this one will always be my top choice. In his first book, Scott talks about the importance of engaging with your target audience instead of just throwing marketing materials at them constantly. The standard best practices are not going to cut it today (ie. cold calls). Pushing your message constantly on someone is no way to get good results. I don’t think there was a point I disagreed with Scott in this book. In fact, a lot of the information felt like stuff people should already know, which proves there is too much bad marketing. Talking to your customers like their humans should be standard, right? I also really liked that Scott shares some of his good and bad experiences with brands in the book for examples. Being a part of a conversation is important.
Favourite Chapter: Lush
2. A Big Life (in advertising) by Mary Wells Lawrence
This book was actually gifted to me during the first half of my third year of studies, but I didn’t finish it entirely until almost graduation. Given the topic, that’s when I appreciated it the most. The writer, Mary, takes the readers on a journey from the 1950s through the 1980s in advertising. Following her life in advertising, she shares her work experiences starting way back when she was just a young copywriter. I really liked that this book was much different than other advertising books I’ve picked up. Reading about someone else’s adventures in the ad world – the agencies, the clients and the campaigns that were done, successfully or not, is inspiring in many ways. Images of past ads can also be found in this book.
Favourite Chapter: From This Moment On
3. Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom
This was my first advertising book purchase (other than textbooks, of course) and it has been by my side ever since. I picked it up right away because one of the reasons I enjoy advertising is for the psychology behind it all. Why do we purchase what we do? Why do we response the way we do to certain brands and marketing tactics? I was afraid the book would be science heavy, but the writer did an excellent job at presenting all the information in a fascinating way that was also easy to understand. I would highly recommend this to anyone in sales as well.
Favourite Chapter: I Can’t See Clearly Now – Subliminal Messaging, Alive and Well
I tried to keep this list short so I can highlight my top favourites, but there are definitely many great advertising related books available. What are some books in the world of advertising that you enjoy and would recommend?
– Lu Ann Pannunzio
Follow Lu Ann @teaaholic