The best advertising books

So you want to make a break into advertising or are looking to fine tune your copywriting skills. Here are a few good advertising books in no particular order that will help make you a better advertising person.


Books to sharpen your ideation

  1. The advertising Concept Book Pete Barry
  2. Whack on the side of your head Roger Von Oech
  3. Copywriting Mark Shaw
  4. Cutting Edge Advertising Jim Atchinson
  5. Kiss & Sell Robert Sawyer
  6. 1001 Advertising Tips DuPont
  7. Hey Whipple Squeeze This – Luke Sullivan
  8. Whack on the side of your head – Roger Von Oech

Books on the day to day business side of advertising

  1. Creative strategies Mario Pricken
  2. How to do better creative work

Books by advertising big shots

  1. Ogilvy on Advertising
  2. Hegarty turning intelligence into magic
  3. Hegarty on Creativity
  4. Then they set his head on fire Phil Dussenbury

Other interesting reads

  1. Ad land Mark Tungate
  2. It’s not how good you are it’s how good you want to be Paul Arden
  3. Ads to icons Paul Springer
  4. Advertising is dead long live advertising Tom Himpe
  5. Idea Industry Brett Robbs Deborah Morrisson

Award books

  1. Epica book 26 Creative Communication
  2. D&AD 2013


Snow balls in Hell

To kick off my section on posts related to advertising I decided that I should start off with a book that I am currently reading. The book in question is How to do better creative work by Steve Harrison from HTW. I chanced upon it serendipitously, having randomly selected it because of its title in the British Council Library’s online database. Though I am yet to complete the book, it has been worth a read.

There are some advertising professionals who pshaw at reading books on advertising. I on the other hand am not one of them. Probably because it was such books that probably fuelled my early allure to step into this industry when it came to deciding what career I should choose. While there are many books that talk about advertising of the bygone ages (and I have no quarry with these), there are some which are full of what I call practical tips and advice. This is definitely one of them.

This is a book for both the newbie and for the veteran. For the newbie and for those pondering a career in advertising, this book helps to dispel that rosy picture you might have created while doodling away in copy class. The book’s advice if taken to heart, I believe as a relative newcomer in the industry definitely provides the stepping stones to become a more creative person. As the title promises. I especially loved the bit when the author says “You idle sods. If you don’t work out your sales pitch now, there isn’t a snowball in hell’s chance” of the work working. What we tend to forget is that selling the work is critical at every stage of the work, especially in the interactive field, and is not just relegated to the pitch stage. Definitely worth a read, so go grab your copy!