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My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Gain a lifetime of experience from the inventor of test marketing and coupon sampling -- Claude C. Hopkins. Here, you'll get two landmark works in one, and discover his fixed principles and basic fundamentals that still prevail today. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 1st 1966 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published January 1st 1966)
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Ben Z.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a worthwhile read for anyone in the advertising or marketing fields. Even though the book was first published decades before Internet, TV, and even radio advertising came of age, the principles are still important.

To summarize:

- Advertising is about selling.
- Do not guess. Perform tests and know your audience.
- Use specific and definite claims. State figures and facts.
- Advertise to the individual, not the masses.
- Never ask people to buy.
- Safety first. All advertising disasters are
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great read. Hopkins practically founded modern advertising. He advocated for measuring everything and testing everything and holding advertisers accountable for results in 1927. Before the internet, before big data, before conversion tracking.

David Ogilvy said: "Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life."

It's required reading for anyone that uses words to convince other people to do things.
Alejandro Sanoja
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is THE BOOK to read if you want to be a successful marketer.

If David Ogilvy (considered the father of Advertising as we know it today) says that you should read it SEVEN TIMES then what are you waiting for?

It's amazing to see how advertising hasn't fundamentally changed in more than 100 years. Some of the tactics and mediums might have changed, but the principles are the same.

The book will also be valuable to anyone who is thinking about starting their own business as it shared a lot abou
Ian Hodge
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
There are two books in this volume. One is biographical, the other is simply advertising genius.

In he early part of the 20th century, business was in the midst of a revolution in the USA. Not only were there significant changes in methods of production, but there was a corresponding change in the methods of marketing and advertising. Claude Hopkins was at the forefront of the sales and marketing revolution, and his Scientific Advertising stands as a monument that is still used today to teach mar
Pete Williams
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Claude Hopkins was the godfather of direct response marketing, and the two books here (now printed as one) changed the game for everyone. This is my go-to gift for new clients, friends or newbie marketers.
Franklyn Gonzalez
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris N
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I only read My Life in Advertising.

The autobiography is a nice cookbook for direct advertising enthusiasts. It shows an interesting timeline of the way advertising changed over the years.
Most of the mentioned companies and some methods are dated, so you may find yourself scratching your head with no contemporary reference.
The book was published in 1927, so when the author says "the '90s" he means the 1890s.

Hopkins' main principle is quite pragmatic - don't try to do beautiful advertising, try i
Anthony Catantan
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claude C. Hopkins, one of the greatest advertising pioneers, believed that advertising existed to sell something. He was among the first to see advertising as something that can be measured. What was unique about him was how he lived with the users of his products to understand these people even better. He knew them very well — their needs, desires, behaviors, and wants. What he learned in advertising and his experiences are all documented in the book: My Life in Advertising and Scientific Adver ...more
Robert Martin
Although I picked this up with the intention of reading only Scientific Advertising, My Life in Advertising actually turned out to be well worth a read. An interesting mixture of biography and lessons, though as Hopkins notes, he doesn't bring anything up unless it has pedagogical value.

Hopkins had a clear understanding of what makes people tick – some of this, I'm sure, is innate, but the main reason for his knowledge is the amount of time he put in – 18 hour work days were not uncommon. My Li
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Omg finally! This book took me about 20 months to read. Not that's totally useless or stupid. But.
1) it was in paper. I have much less opportunity to read paper books against ebooks.
2) it wasn't fiction - you have to focus and think about what you're reading.
3) it was in English - mind you, more than 100 years old English! Now while I'm not a native speaker, I don't usually have troubles with English texts, but 100 years old... Omg.
4) it's outdated. While I understand that some great advertisin
Justin Weiss
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If most popular business books have spent the last century rehashing "My Life and Work," most popular advertising books have spent the last century rehashing "Scientific Advertising." If you're interested in split testing, copywriting, or buyer psychology at all, your time reading the less-than-100 pages in Scientific Advertising will be some of the best you'll ever spend. My only complaint is that there's not a lot of depth in most of the topics (the chapters tend to run 3-7 pages each), but yo ...more
Fahim Sachedina
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been reading a lot about Claude Hopkins' life for a little while and I picked up this book to hear from the man himself; one of the founding fathers of modern advertising.

The book talks about his life in the field and key lessons learned, such as:

• Advertising and copy are salesmanship in print.
• Facts and figures will always trump opinions and claims.
• Advertise to the individual.
• Always advertise with the benefit in mind.
• There's no harm in doing a cheap test to see if the audience
Shayy Tamang
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
First and foremost shoutout to all my folks who got introduced to Hopkins because of Charles Duhiggs book ,The power of Habits (if u haven’t read TPOH, then you definitely musstttt!).

Hopkins is known to be the father of advertising who used his wits in the early 1900s to reach many major household products to you. Namely Quacker oats, Quacked Puffed rice, Pepsodent, Palmolive soaps and Schlitz beer.

I Love the sequence of this book as Hopkins begins by partly sharing his biography then leading
Jerry Smales
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you want to sell anything online? Then these books might be your secret weapon. My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising are great reads for anyone who wants to persuasive online. This is the first book someone should read if you want to be a copywriter. Copywriting, according to Claude Hopkins, is salesmanship in print. I would rename this book copywriting 101. It is an easy read and quite interesting. These books are free online. Just search on google and you will find it in multip ...more
Sam Klemens
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not in advertising but I enjoyed this book. Tons of practical advice.

Keep track of your expenditures, measure how much effect the advertising has.
Fancy is not better. Simple is the best.
Talk about specifics. Your product is not "The best in the world". Instead, it's "4x better than XYZ because ABC" and so on.
Your advertisement is not a place for ego, it's a place to tell your customer how they stand to benefit.
Headlines matter. A lot..

Good book!
Brian  Ambrosini
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lot of eye-opening themes in this book. Crazy to read this and think of how spot on Hopkins was. Advertising now can actually be traced to a T.

The bad part, that I am realizing, is that we are now doing away with common sense. Since everything is done via "scientific proof" advertisers now a days (myself included) tend to rely far to heavy on stats, than using a little creativity mixed with the ability to break down the performance of the ad.

Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's fascinated how we can see the diligence and dedication of Mr. Hopkins into his work. In this book, he described how he get started with Advertising and how advertising is such a demanding work. It's not about how genius he was, it's about his attitude towards everything. He did everything with love and dedication. Many of his technique in advertising are widely used today. ...more
Rahul  Kumar
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must read book. It has lots of golden nuggets.

As David Ogilvy Said
"Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book (Scientific Advertising) seven times. It changed the course of my life"

Same as this to get into my blood I have to read 8 times

Lots of case study about big brands in different industries.

Really love that book
João Fernandes
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Only read the first part "My life in advertising", but it gave me HUGE value and perspectives about life.

Has an ambitious folk like Hopkins was I can relate a lot to his life decisions and life lessons. That made me put many things in perspective and made me aware of several drawbacks of being successful (e.g. big anxiety).

Big food for though in the life journey of one of the biggest advertisers of all time.

Salute Mr. Hopkins
Alex Exarchos
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for anyone interested in learning the foundations of advertising

This book by the advertising pioneer Claude Hopkins is a constant revelation to the meticulous student of the - more exact than many think - science of marketing and advertising.
If you are one of those, read it through and treasure its numerous gems of an advice.
Alex Exarchos
Yassin Shaar
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Picked up the book because it was recommended on Gary Halberts newsletter. The theme is advertising can be very scientific, which will make/save you a lot of money if you treat it that way. Test your ads on a small scale & know your numbers before scaling your campaign.
Omar Ali
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Really interesting, especially if viewed as a historical text. It tracks the development of advertising and consumer goods. How advertising led people to buy beans in tins in favour of cooking their own. I’d like to get the author’s take on how things progressed after his era.
Joshua Sells
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Great books, but lots of repetitive information. Very insightful in several regards though. Relevant information, however serves as more a history rather than keeping up with the rapidly changing field now
Dmitry Zlokazov
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
1. Memorable 3
2. Social Relevance 5
3. Informative 5
4. Originality 4
5. Thought Provoking 4
6. Expressiveness 2
7. Entertaining 3
8. Visualization 3
9. Sparks Emotion 3
10. Life changing 3

Total 35/10 = 3.5
Josiah Roche
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great insight into the life of one of the world's best DR copywriters.

Although some things were not applicable, the psychology of humankind has not moved much compared to when this book was written.
david klein
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lessons still apply perfectly to this day

What a genius of advertising this guy was. So many valuable lessons to learn here. One would think that being as old as this book is, and how advanced marketing is these days. The advise could be redundant. Not true.
Gordon Zhu
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a poignant reminder (along with Ogily on Advertising) of what the essence of good advertising should be, without fads, without trivialities. Hopkins is a compelling story-teller and his examples are still as relevant as ever, almost 100 years later.
Simon Salomonsson
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely classic Marketing book. The concepts are still valid and highly relevant today almost a 100 years after Claude Hopkins wrote this bestseller.
Giuseppe Burtini
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Iconic read, a must for anyone in advertising and marketing.
Miguel Braga
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: copywriting
The classic of classics. Everything is there. From Direct Response to Branding.
The more I re-read this book, almost - or even - everything modern gurus teach, the basis all are here.
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