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*A Book Review*

Tested Advertising Methods

By John Caples

by Michael C. Gray

January 26, 2000

There are a few books that appear on the "required reading" list of many writers for learning the tips, tricks and techniques of advertising. One of those books is Tested Advertising Methods.

John Caples’ advertising career spanned 49 years, starting at age 25 during the "Roaring Twenties." Among the advertisements that he wrote was a classic for U.S. School of Music, "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano. But When I Started To Play!—"

John Caples was firmly of the Direct Response marketing school. He was devoted to testing advertising techniques and measuring his results. Today, talented direct response copywriters are honored with the Caples Awards, founded by The Emerson Marketing Agency in 1978.

Caples had a three-step approach to creativity:

  1. Capture the prospect’s attention.
  2. Maintain the prospect’s interest.
  3. Move the prospect to favorable action.

Each of these elements are required for a successful ad.

His three-step approach to testing was:

  1. Accept nothing as true about what works best in advertising until it has been objectively tested.
  2. Build upon everything you learn from testing to create an ever-stronger system that you return to with each new project.
  3. Treat every ad as an ongoing test of what has been learned before. Be ready to adapt when something new works better, or something old stops working.

Although this book isn’t light reading, it is a practical textbook for writing and testing advertisements, based on nearly a half-century of hard-boiled, rigorous cataloguing and experience.

If you want to write advertisements or more effectively evaluate advertisements that are produced for you by others, you will definitely want to study Tested Advertising Methods.

Buy it on Amazon: Tested Advertising Methods (5th Edition) (Prentice Hall Business Classics).

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John Caples' book explains how to write great ads and make sure they work and keep working.

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