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Scientific Advertising

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,850 ratings  ·  124 reviews
The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact. The causes and effects have been analyzed until they are well understood. The correct methods of procedure have been proved and established. We know what is most effective, and we act on basic law. Advertising, once a gamble, has ...more
Kindle Edition, 92 pages
Published March 27th 2014 by Start Publishing LLC (first published February 1923)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  1,850 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
The book that started it all. Refreshing in its assertion that vulgar, tawdry ads never create superior sales for companies. If Hopkins died in 1932, this means sleazy commercials have been around far longer than we knew !

“The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science. It is based on fixed principles and is reasonably exact… Every course is charted. The compass of accurate knowledge directs the shortest, safest, cheapest course to any
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It puts you in the picture.
That said, the book is indeed rather outdated and the stuff that could be regarded, on the other hand, as everlasting principles is fairly commonsensical.
So it's far from being an eye- opener, but what I know for a fact is that you don't lose squat giving it a read.
Martin Hamilton
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Grandfather of modern day marketing. He is the inventor of the coupon. He invented the coupon for a reason most people wouldn't guess. Claude Hopkins invented the coupon to 'track' sales. How else would he know which ads were getting responses? How clever! His advice "track everything." Back in the days of newspaper and periodical advertising the cost was expensive. With no free emailing tracking an advertisement was crucial. He was a master at split testing (using more than one offer, ...more
Joshua Pitzalis
Not very scientific. Not a single reference to a real study. Still, some great ideas.
Reza Putra
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a copywriter, I found that this book is vastly helpful to figure out parameters used in writing a copy that sells. In brief, this is a classic book that never dies out. If you are a creative worker, this book must discipline you in terms of business insights.

Several "tested" claims in this book, among other things, are as follows:

Minimalism doesn't always work. In direct mail, the more you tell the more you sell (chapter 4). Likewise, success stories must be told in complete, either short or
Patrick Trotter
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Too much fluff, and poorly edited fluff at that.

Don't get me wrong, there is actually quite good information contained within. But, rather than a malingering e-book, this (seriously useful) data should have just been presented as a one or two page PDF. I would have still paid for it. In fact, I would have likely paid more to have it condensed. The rambling anecdotes and unnecessary side roads were wholly unnecessary.
Fahad Naeem
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing, 2018
To be fair, there wasn't any scientific in this Claude Hopkins' book.
Scientific Advertising emphasis on headlines and gathering information for creating a sparked-ad.
What I wanted to learn from this book is, how to sell a product, which sadly I did not find.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a short book that offers many practical ways of advertising, what to do and what not to do, all come with examples. Keep in mind this is an old book first published in 1923, so some of the things may not be relevant. But most of the ideas are timeless and relevant. If you could only read one chapter, read Chapter 6 about psychology.

Spoiler alert

Chapter 1 How Advertising Laws Are Established
Advertising if done in a scientific fashion, is not a gamble, but one of the safest, surest ventures
Phat Nguyen
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another timeless book on advertising.

It is unbelievable to realize that: many words and sentences that were written in 1928 are just as relevant (or even more relevant than ever!) as in 2019. It is not hard to browse around Facebook and see tons of bad, terrible ads out there. And they could be much better (and much more effective) if the ad owner simply read this small book, which was written nearly a century ago!
Romeu Lourenço
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The mental models to write good copy. Recommend!
Jesse Jones
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the best books on direct response marketing, and its relationship to sales, ever written. Very practical and still applicable in a world driven by Google AdWords and social media advertising.

To sum up in the author's own words:
Advertising is salesmanship
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An all-time classic.

Read it or lose money.

Read it or get lost in creativity.

Read it or get lost in pride.

Have you read it yet?
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I've been meaning to get around to for at least a couple years now. I'm glad it finally ended up in my reading list because it was wonderful. I love the terse, precise prose. Hopkins really hammers home his ideas.

I will probably do a full review once I've digested it a bit more, but I want to mention a couple items.

A few people have criticized the book for not being "scientific". Its certainly not a scientific article, and would never wind up in a scientific journal. This book is
Chase Cottle
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3 things that stood out to me from this book:

1. The more you tell, the more you sell
2. if you can prove it on a small scale, the numbers will hold up on a larger scale, once you know it works for 1,000 it will work for 1,000,000
3. Although this was written quite a while ago, the principles still hold true, understanding why your customer wants something and positioning your product or service as a solution is what will get the job done.
Jelle Annaars
I can see how this is a classic, but it's quite outdated. There are some useful universal insights there, but you've got to dig for them.
Also, prepare for a dry reading experience. Don't expect any stories or even a sense of humour.
Kalin Stanislavov
3rd time this year I'm reading it.Recommended by most successful in the industry like John Carlton,Gary Halbert and David Ogilvy
Meryl Evans
Many in the writing biz recommended this book, but it didn't ring with me. Maybe the writing style just didn't work for me.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone interested in advertising. Not five stars because there are a couple of chapters that are outdated and not relevant anymore. The rest, though, is gold.

Important lessons for me:

- Advertising is multiplied salesmanship. It doesn't need to be entertaining nor weird. Its purpose is to sell. It follows the rules of human interactions. When writing, don't think of people in the mass but trying to think of your ideal customer.
- Don't try to sell people what they don't want.
Pascal Wagner
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short & simple read. A very math & science driven book on how to approach sales and marketing.

Others look for something queer and unusual. They want ads distinctive in style or illustration. Would you want that in a salesman? Do not men who act and dress in normal ways make a far better impression? (13)

Some advertising men go out in person and sell before they plan to write an ad. One of the ablest of men has spent weeks on one article, selling from house to
Khôi Nguyễn
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ads are not written to entertain. When they do, those entertainment seekers are little likely to be the people whom you want. That is one of the greatest advertising faults. Ad writers abandon their parts. They forget they are salesmen and try to be performers. Instead of sales, they seek applause."

This is definitely my favorite excerpt of this book.

The book provides plenty of universal insights back in the old days and still hold true nowadays, but some are outdated in the digital age.

Ekaterina Anguelova
Not all classics age well

Having studied social sciences for the past decade, the field of marketing is new to me. I wanted to start at the beginning, just like any course in anthropology would look at the birth of the discipline by referencing authors of the likes of Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard . In this regard, Hopkins's book does not disappoint - it gives a picture of the mindset with which professionals approached marketing as a precise discipline in the first half of the 20th century.
Henrique Zambonin
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine talked about this book and I've read it out of curiosity. It's a very short book but I must say: I'm kinda impressed with it.

It's a book originally written in 1923 for those who don't know. So, as a marketer who started to practice his craft when the internet was already a big hit, I always had the support of many different analytics tools, So I used to think that the scientific "data-driven" approach to run ads, campaigns and the creative part of the businesses, in general, was
I swallowed this book in just a few hours over the course of two days. It's exactly how I like my instructional books. There is no fluff or unnecessary chatter. Don't shrug at the methods just because mail-order catalogues and coupons are outdated. The information and advice is sound.

Let me clarify, this is not a book to turn to in order to write good copy. It did not go into detail about how to write a captivating headline or body. It's just a good starting point to calibrate your thinking in
Adrian Li
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nobody, at any level, should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times."

That was the first sentence in the introduction of this book (written by Ogilvy himself) and it just goes to show you the power of copywriting.

The writing in this book is short and succinct. It really feels like someone very passionate about the topic is talking to you in real life. Indeed, this makes sense since the first non-introduction chapter of the book teaches that
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to echo what others have said and let people know that this book can be found for free at the Library of Congress website.

This is the second book I've read as part of my self-teaching curriculum to be a copywriter. It's a short read (less than 100 pages). But each page wastes no space. There were some pages where I felt as if I was absorbing years and years of experience/information in just a few sentences. There are many useful nuggets in this short read. I really recommend reading
Adebayo Ijidakinro
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book truly teaches you how to advertise

I hate most books that say they’re going to teach an important skills, because all to often their filled with palaver and useless opinion and gimmicks. Not so with this book. This book will truly understand how to advertise, and why certain methods work based on fact. It’s obviously the result of years of research, therefore, what is in this book can be relied upon as truth as oppose to simply one popular mans desirable but utterly worthless opinion.
Leticia Supple
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, but I wish I had read it prior to Hopkins’s companion work, My Life in Advertising.

Many of the examples are the same in both works, and while the detail in this volume is good, it would have been much more efficient for the reader to edit them into a single volume. In this way, the method and the illustration would have been more valuable all round.

But it is an excellent work, and highly recommended for anyone in publicity, advertising, marketing, copywriting, or other
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books, marketing
Scientific Advertising is a quick read outlining the principles of advertising. The book touches on a range of topics that most advertisers would probably find helpful. Phycology, strategy, headlines, samples, and the importance of storytelling are all covered (plus much more). This book had some good information and interesting insights but was painfully boring to read. It’s the shortest book on my list this year, and I struggled to get through it. It also felt a bit outdated.
Liam Xavier
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If nothing else, certainly worth of a skim read, for the useful tit bits of a wisdom.

It is, as one might expect, a victim to time and much of the sentiment expressed isn't as valid anymore, nor as relevant. But the "laws", the "foundations" as the writer mentions are unchanged, and will always remain the same with some uniqueness giving it a new face. Thus, this book is still incredibly useful, and helpful to anyone in the advertising and marketing business.
Wayne Sharer
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This is a book every business owner and marketer must read. It reveals how little things have changed since the internet began in how you create advertising. If you want to know how the modern marketing "guru" became such an "expert," you will know by reading Scientific Advertising.
Don't skip reading this book. I've done so several time.
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