March 17, 2015
Stranger Than We Imagine
I had the occasion to read a wonderful book about advertising last week. It's called The Anatomy Of Humbug and is written by Paul Feldwick.
The book is fascinating and superbly written. It takes us from the beginning of the modern era of advertising up to the present with charming anecdotes and intelligent analyses of the people and ideas that have made us the struggling, bewildered ad hacks we are today.
It also explores some thought-provoking ideas about the ad person's eternal question: How the fuck does advertising work?
Additionally, it motivated me to publish something of my own.
Back in October, I wrote a 3-part post about "quantum advertising" (I know, pretentious as hell) which (in a much less thorough, entertaining or intelligent way) also deals with the nature of how advertising works. I have now published it as a little booklet (ePamphlet?) at Amazon under that title.
I wanted to make it downloadable for free, but Amazon insists that an author charge at least 99¢. The good news is that I can offer it for free a few days every quarter. So you can download this thing for free for the next 3 days (until 11:59 PM PDT Thursday.)
One thing that Feldwick's book and my booklet have in common is that neither of us is satisfied with the standard model of advertising as simply a function of either logic or emotion. It is probably a lot stranger than that. But don't try to tell that to your client. Marketers prefer clear answers that are wrong to vague answers that are right.
So here's what to do. Buy The Anatomy of Humbug and then, for dessert, download Quantum Advertising.
Big thanks to Mark Earls for giving me The Anatomy Of Humbug.