A copywriting pro reveals all in this how-to manual.
For those mystified by advertising copywriting or anyone who hopes to enter the profession, this book is sure to fit the bill. The CV of Attea (The Secrets of Successful Creative Advertising, 2008, etc.) is impressive; he has won the ad industry’s most prestigious awards, worked with top agencies, and written for stellar clients. Rather than rest on his laurels, the author chose to share his considerable knowledge in this eight-part opus that covers all the bases. Included are chapters about exploring the creative process, writing for traditional and digital media, brand positioning, solving problems, and making presentations. The author doesn’t stop there: He also addresses ancillary subjects of use to a well-rounded copywriter, such as understanding how to test advertising and using the right media as well as developing brand names, a topic often ignored. In fact, Attea has become something of a naming expert, having conceived what he calls “the most acute approach to name development.” The author has the right to be a bit self-congratulatory, but his tone throughout the book exudes confidence rather than arrogance. Attea acknowledges that “gigantic egos lumber about in advertising,” but he claims “many of the most capable people…are actually pretty modest.” In addition to recounting advertising war stories, this craftsman is willing to pass along a wealth of knowledge to the next generation. He advises wannabes to review winners of annual industry awards shows and includes fine commentary on timeless advertising books. He writes eloquently and wisely about the need for the industry to remain balanced. “The profession actually requires a combination of brash innocence and creative experience,” asserts Attea; a well-functioning agency “maintains a balance between sophisticated veterans and young people.” He also shares some of the harsh realities of the business, discussing, for example, the takeover of larger agencies by global conglomerates and the continuous criticism leveled against ad claims. For the most part, though, Attea’s comprehensive book is a highly instructional guide to the creation of effective advertising.
Brimming with wisdom and good-natured copywriting guidance.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)