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Breakthrough Advertising

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  526 ratings  ·  58 reviews
This is not a book just for copywriters and other advertising experts but a book for every business owner, marketing expert or anyone who needs to increase sales.

The reason why is because it deals with how to channel the forces in the marketplace which control sales.

Put simply, Gene's book addresses the universal problem of all copywriting: How to write a headline and an
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published 2004 by Bottom Line Books (first published 1966)
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Pascal Wagner
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book to break down the elements of copywriting.
At first this book will seem overwhelming but the more I read it, the more my copy improves.
I will definitely be rereading this several times over the next year.
Steve Roller
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A classic book on copywriting and advertising that I try to re-read every year or two. This book is more highlighted and underlined than any other book I own.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I sometimes get stuck when writing anything.
I keep this book on top of Webster's English Usage.
I finally have found a book that lays out the critical tool set useful to the copywriter. When I get myself stuck or feel like I am in a corner, I will take a quick flip through this book and suddenly POP! the door is open!
You know what I mean.
I highly recommend this book.
Todd Brown
One of the best marketing books of all time.
Martin Hamilton
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Eugene proves people never change. Times may change and technology but the inner soul of humans will not. What worked in Caesars time still works today. The main thing this book portrayed is how most things are just a recreation of something that has already been created. The problems people have with marketing are mainly how to get attention and keep the interest of the reader or viewer. Eugene explains how to do this while making your product unique even though your audience is aware it may be ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only reason it's 4/5 is because this book is very outdated. The concepts are timeless but uses old language/examples. Luckily human nature has not changed much since the writing. I had to translate the knowledge into modern language and have applied the concepts in digital marketing... Especially helpful in identifying and breaking down market segments, split testing, and improving copy.
Fabian Il.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Actually worth the hype and the money (I payed 475€ for it)! because this is a book based on reality on experience not to theory or someone who chooses that one example can demonstrate a law. This is the best book on advertising I have ever read and one of the best on psychology actually.

Highly recommend.
Phat Nguyen
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book that you need to read at least several times to grasp everything. This book is unavailable everywhere, so it's not easily accessible, but once you have it, it will be one of the best investments you've ever had (especially if you're into marketing)
Caio Ferreira
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best copywriting book I have read. It is a must read.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Fantastic book that is always going in and out of print. I got it on Google Play pretty cheap. This book is a classic staple in advertising, anyone who is looking to improve their copy writing skills (persuasive writing) should read this and learn from the lessons Schwartz offers. Though dated, the examples are still relevant even to this day.
Omar M. Khateeb
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
By far the most sophisticated book on marketing I've ever read. Schwartz was ahead of his time! A big take away from this book is that it is not the job of the marketer to create desire. Rather, you must unearth already existing desires and channel them into action towards your product/service.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: selling
wow. great book. best book on copywriting and marketing ive ever read.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're in any of these fields, go, buy this book, and read it. It will change your views.

- Marketing
- Advertising
- Selling
- Non-fiction writing
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A classic book on copywriting written in the 1960s. Key takeaways: 1) There is no specific formula to follow. Each individual ad has its own problems and must be figured out in a unique way. There are guideposts to follow, but no set rule to follow at all times. 2) The purpose of the first sentence is to get the reader to make it to the second sentence. The purpose of the second sentence is to get the reader to make it to the third sentence. The purpose of the third sentence.... 3) Marketers ...more
Υπάτιος Βαρελάς
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing book! One of the top classics in ad copywriting. 70+ years old but still useful!

Eugene M. Schwartz goes into the detail of copywriting for printed ads for newspapers, magazines and direct mail business. There was no Internet back at his time and I believe that most people didn't even own a TV set. However, it's a wonderful book full of good, detailed advice on how to write successful ads and most of the principles can be still applied today.

It really opened my eyes and helped me realize
Justin Weiss
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've learned a lot from some incredible marketers and copywriters, and this is the book they all point to as a "copywriting masterclass." It takes everything I've learned through following other people's processes, but goes deep into the reason for it, how every part of an ad fits together to strengthen the whole, and the research / knowing your audience that has to go into everything you create for them.

It says a lot that even if the writing of some of the sample ads seems corny or even scammy
Jokūbas Šatrauskas
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clearly one of the best books you can get for copywriting! The book is a masterpiece in a sense of how to think about writing text that sells. I found it very informative and basically it helped me to think more deeply about the customer funnel and how the prospect acts in that funnel and what message should be delivered from the brand side. It is much more than copywriting which brilliant guide! I will surely come back to this book in a year or earlier just to analyze my perception which I ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is written several decades ago and it talks about the state of advertisement at that time. However, you the important topics are still relevant today. Great summary of all the hooks and explanation of the methods to make someone to read an ad. If you are in the ad business it will help you improve your copy writing and if you are on the consumer side you will understand the hooks that are being used on you in every ad.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A timeless classic with lessons still relevant in the digital age.

Some of the examples show their age. Mail ordering has been replaced by ecommerce. Cigarettes have lost much of their appeal. Car technology is far different.

All that said, the headline section helped me write better search ads. The copy section helped me write better landing pages. The techniques helped me write better social ads.
Kalin Stanislavov
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No matter how much this book costs, get it. Scrape the money together. Even the people who read it a few times still do not comprehend the power of the knowledge given in this book. This is a clinic on persuasion in print.At one point costed 900$ in Amazon because it was out of print.Breakthrough Advertising is back in print : https://www.breakthroughadvertisingbo... just 125$ for this gold mine book.

Donatas Ranonis
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is considered to be the greatest book on copywriting that was ever written. I can probably agree. It is quite deep and reviews many techniques. Almost half of the book is on human desires and how to write a really good headline. I would read it several more times to learn what its trying to teach. Highly recommended for any advertising professionals.
Bruce Harpham
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing
What an outstanding book! For years, I have seen the book described as a must-read for copywriters. Fortunately, Brian Kurtz ( has brought the book out again in a great hardcover edition.

I expect this is a business book that will reward multiple readings. It is dense with insight and has stood the test of time since its success in the 1960s.
Don Sevcik
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No matter how much this book costs, get it. Scrape the money together. Even the people who read it a few times still do not comprehend the power of the knowledge given in this book. This is a clinic on persuasion in print.

And like most great books, they come from older times. This book will shave years off your learning curve.
Alvaro Berrios
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's a line in the Afterword of the book that reads "...this might be the most important book ever written for anyone who markets any product or service in any medium."

I can think of no better way of putting it.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-finance
Includes great techniques for writing great copy. Certainly not as inspiring as, "Ogilvy on Advertising," but perhaps a greater copywriting tool. Long, hard to get stuck to the book, but a must-read for serious inspiring or established advertisers. In fact, I think I'll re-read it soon.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Out of date and tired marketing techniques that I read for a client. Only useful for clickbait types of ads online. Not recommended unless you honestly don't know anything about marketing. Don't fall for the fact that it's overpriced on Amazon. You can get an online version easily.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best copywriting book I've ever read. In a field where you could go any direction with your copy, it gives you a map to make better decisions by understanding your market and your competition.
Jan Brinkmann
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just read it the first time. Probably going to read it again soon. There are so many informations... literally valuable insights till the last pages.

Thanks to Brian Kurtz to make this book affordable again.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though this book is now decades old, current day copywriters reference it ALL the time as their go-to book to learn copywriting expertise. I LOVE this book and it has made a huge impact on my own copywriting tasks.
Miguel Braga
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: copywriting
Very good book, specially the phases of Market Sophistication. Not necessary a book for beginners.
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