Monday, March 19, 2012

The Sin of Arrogant Advertising - Myths & Misconceptions About Advertising

The Sin of Arrogant Advertising - Myths & Misconceptions About Advertising

“I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is, I don’t know which half.” This succinct resume of the advertiser’s dilemma is often attributed to John Wanamaker, the department store pioneer. Some people prefer to give the credit to Henry Ford, the automobile pioneer, or other favourite business giants. Whoever said it first, it is certain that it has been said thousand and thousand of times since.

The significance of the observation is nothing short of astounding. These are people whose business is investing and harvesting financial assets, yet when it comes to advertising, they freely admit to wasting at least 50% of their money!

Fortunately, we have moved on considerably in the century or so since the statement was first uttered, in large measure thanks to John Caples’ book “Tested Advertising Methods”, first published in 1932 and endlessly reprinted ever since.

It is called “Tested Advertising Methods” because over a 50-year period Mr. Caples actually conducted scientific experiments to find out what really works . . . and what doesn’t. Some of his findings are very surprising and in fact explode a number of myths about advertising.

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