How to Please Your Customers:
Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising Wrap-up

My new boots came in the mail. They were far too small. I felt like a kid again and my feet had grown over the summer.

These boots had everything I wanted. Leather, waterproof, and insulated, I expected to keep them for years. But of course, they had to fit right.

Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image "What's Down There?"by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image “What’s Down There?”by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Luckily, the online retailer made the exchange simple and free. I mailed the boots in to try a second pair, and I waited.

It was going to be a cold, snowy Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.

Continue reading “How to Please Your Customers: Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising Wrap-up”

Hopkins’ Essentials of Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 17)

After reviewing Hopkins’ accomplishments, we get to the most important chapter of the book, Chapter Seventeen, Scientific Advertising.

Hopkins compares advertisements with salespeople. Each must prove their worth. Track results to know what is effective and what is not. Some techniques won’t work in various industries.

Image "Money bw" by Monochrome, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Image “Money bw” by Monochrome, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

But some truths are universal. Hopkins lays them out in this essential chapter.

Continue reading “Hopkins’ Essentials of Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 17)”

The Three Interests An Advertisement Must Serve (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 16)

I don’t know about you, but I’m wary of ads that push the status quo. “Everything’s OK,” they say. “We’re the brand you know and trust.” Those brands aren’t working to keep our business.

Advertisements with selfish appeals don’t interest a reader. Advertising great Claude C. Hopkins stresses service in advertisement. It’s a theme throughout his book My Life in Advertising.

Hopkins applied this service outlook in his advertisements and his career. Hopkins’ great success comes from service to others, not to himself.

Chapter 16, “Reasons for Success,” focuses on the business of advertising.

The influential advertising person, you, must serve three interests.

Image "_MG_8515.jpg" by Tibor Kovacs, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Image “_MG_8515.jpg” by Tibor Kovacs, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Continue reading “The Three Interests An Advertisement Must Serve (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 16)”

Three Ways Steam-Powered Automobiles Changed Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapters 10 and 11)

This is the 10th part in a series covering the current PRL book selection, My Life in Advertising.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Over 100 years ago, steam-powered automobiles were a novelty to many and a luxury to the few who could afford them. With time, the technology improved and the cost dropped.

We’re in a similar situation with Tesla and other high-end vehicles. And their ad methods haven’t changed much in those 100+ years. Continue reading “Three Ways Steam-Powered Automobiles Changed Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapters 10 and 11)”

Medical Claims My Eye (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 7)

I am blown away at the number of medical commercials on TV these days (in the US). They’re a huge portion of the evening broadcast. You can’t watch network television without being warned of ED.

What's the TV suggest today? Photo "Television" by dailyinvention, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
What’s the TV suggest today? Visual Messages play a large part in our receptiveness to an advert. Photo “Television” by dailyinvention, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Did you know that advertising pharmaceuticals directly to consumers is the most common way people receive health communications? It’s true. No one is suggesting the viewers get off their asses to exercise. There’s no money in advertising the health benefits of zucchini — unless you’re the Food Network!

No one wants to hear the bad news of health issues. Instead, we’re fed commercials of attractive actors frolicking in a meadow. The visual message is Happiness, even as the voice-over suggests the medicine might cause exactly what it’s trying to prevent. Everyone is interested in a sunnier life.

Apparently, these ads are an improvement from what was published 100 years ago. Continue reading “Medical Claims My Eye (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 7)”

Bakers Rising (My Life in Advertising, Chapter 6)

When you’re shopping, how closely do you monitor the price tags? We tend to think we’re very price-conscious. We do pay attention to price, it’s true, but there are many more factors at work.

Price is often one of the least important concerns when we find the right item.

For example, we can get generic shoes at many stores. Do you buy the cheapest shoes you can? Or do you look for something that expresses a bit about your personality? If not shoes, maybe you prefer that people use your title when addressing you. Maybe you like to see your name in lights. Maybe you drive a fancy car.

Everyone has a desire to express and elevate their status, and the right item to do that will make someone say, I gotta have this, price be damned.

Chapter 6 of My Life in Advertising, Personal Salesmanship. While Claude C Hopkins worked at Swift and Company selling the lard substitute Cotosuet to home users, the company was having a hard time selling to bakers. The price was higher than the competition.

Hopkins insisted that price has nothing to do with salesmanship, and he sets out to prove it.

People want prestige and recognition, including their name in print on an advertisement such as this.
People want status, prestige, and recognition. Printing the bakery name on an advertisement was reason enough to buy the placards for the window, and with it, the Cotosuet used in the baked goods.

Continue reading “Bakers Rising (My Life in Advertising, Chapter 6)”

Those Big Ears Will Give You Confidence

In highschool we had to vote for a student government representative for our homeroom, the room we started and ended each school day. There were two candidates in our homeroom. One candidate was studious and seriously wanted the job — she had plans!

The second candidate was a goof who spent most of his school day talking with people. He was charismatic, but he didn’t have any plans for the school government if he was elected (but let’s be honest, those organizations don’t accomplish much anyways).

Who do you think won?

Everyone is drawn to a charismatic personality. Many of us believe charismatic people are born this way, and their leadership skills are an effortless result of their charisma.

The leader fights for the interests of her group. Photo "IMG_2810_1" by Allie, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
The leader is a member of her group. Photo “IMG_2810_1” by Allie, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

This is the story we tell ourselves. This story keeps us from looking at our own skillset to see where we fall short. But this story is not true.

You, too, can develop charisma and become an effective leader.

Charisma isn’t about being high-energy. It’s not about striking out in bold new directions or making perfect decisions. How can you develop charisma? Continue reading “Those Big Ears Will Give You Confidence”

My Grandpa’s Dirty Secret to a Clean Kitchen (and My Life in Advertising: Chapter 4)

Hi PRL!

Check out this totally fantastic photo from 1989. My family was just moving into our new home.

new_kitchen
I had just turned 10 years old. The shorts say it all.

I was looking for a photo of the kitchen carpet in this kitchen from when my grandpa owned the house. I couldn’t have hoped to find a gem like that photo above.

Back to the kitchen carpet. Yes, it existed; it’s barely visible in my photo above. It was patterned in food words. “Onion” was printed in white, for example, and “pepper” printed in green. Continue reading “My Grandpa’s Dirty Secret to a Clean Kitchen (and My Life in Advertising: Chapter 4)”

My Life in Advertising: Chapter 3

Chapter Three of Claude C Hopkins’ book, My Life in Advertising.

This is the current #PRL selection of books that discuss and teach influence and persuasion. Join #PRL to receive exclusive updates and content to improve your own persuasive powers and understanding of influence!

Hopkins opens Chapter Three with a story. The summer after highschool graduation, Claude C. Hopkins took a job as a school teacher on the weekdays and a preacher on the weekends.

“The saver & the worker get the preference of the men who control opportunities. And often that preference proves to be the most important thing in life.” —CC Hopkins, My Life in Advertising

One weekend his mother’s strict congregation asked him to speak. Claude had developed new ideas about religion, different from his strict upbringing. He knew this opportunity would test his relationship with his mother. Claude spoke at the church anyway. His mom was, let’s say, not happy. She took him to a restaurant and broke up with him.

Hopkins couldn't afford to eat regularly, and craved hot pie for dinner. Photo "Mmm... chicken pot pie" by Jeffreyw, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Hopkins couldn’t afford to eat regularly, and craved hot pie for dinner.
Photo “Mmm… chicken pot pie” by Jeffreyw, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Continue reading “My Life in Advertising: Chapter 3”

My Life in Advertising: Chapter 2

Welcome to Persuasion Reading List. This is the next part in a series of Executive Summary posts of the book My Life in Advertising. Find previous posts on this book here, and thanks for your visit.

"My Life in Advertising" by Claude C. Hopkins
“My Life in Advertising” by Claude C. Hopkins

In Chapter Two of My Life in Advertising, Hopkins writes about his childhood jobs. Hopkins learned the importance of a good product or good service. He cornered the flier delivery in his hometown by being the only boy to deliver to all of the homes on his routes. The other kids weren’t so thorough. Consistently great service attracts business.Tweet This

Later, during his door-to-door sales work, Hopkins learned that selling with a demonstration or a sample made selling many times easier. Persuasion without a sample was far more effort. Samples, samples, samples! This is the cornerstone of his later career. Continue reading “My Life in Advertising: Chapter 2”