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Advertising Concept Book Paperback – Jul 8 2008

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Paperback, Jul 8 2008
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson (July 8 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500287384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500287385
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 0.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #359,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“A solid, fun, informative read.”

“Invaluable advice.”

“Sound advice for advertising creatives.”

“The book supports our school's philosophy: have a great concept before you run to the computer.”

About the Author

Pete Barry began his career as an art director in London. He works as a copywriter in New York and teaches Advertising Design at Syracuse University. His most recent awards include a Gold Clio and an AIGA, and he was winner of the Pentagon Memorial Competition.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is almost all one would need to start their career in advertising. Beautifully laid out and well-written. Highly recommended.
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By JeffSimpson on July 23 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must for any one working in the creative side of advertising. Great to see ads as simple concept sketches.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Looks great Aug. 4 2008
By Book Lover - Published on
Format: Paperback
The point of this book is that the concept is king. Focus on great ideas, and only then should you focus on crafting them with whatever tools you need - PhotoShop, InDesign, and so on. To illustrate (excuse the pun) the point, every single ad in the book has been done as a pencil sketch (or comp, or scamp, or rough, depending on your preferred terminology). These sketches alone are beautifully done. They cover many of the most famous ads of all time, and they do make their point well: the great ideas shine through.

The book is broken up into expected sections: Print, TV, Taglines, Strategy and Ideas, Integrated, and so on. There is detailed coverage of different types of strategy, a series of `tools' to help generate ideas, and lots and lots of examples - including some (often very good) from Barry's own students. The author makes some very good distinctions. For example, many advertising teachers insist that students avoid puns. Barry draws the distinction between various types of headline that use bad puns and other headlines - many of them classic ads - that use strong double-meanings. As I think George Felton says in his great book (Advertising: Concept and Copy), "It's got to cut both ways" - in other words, both meanings need to work. Anyway, it's a worthwhile discussion.

Barry clearly has a lot of experience both in agencies and in teaching. Sometimes he over-explains the point, but I actually don't mind this because at least it means it's well understood.

There's a lot that you'd find in other good advertising books, like "Hey Whipple" and "Advertising: Concept and Copy" but there's enough new material to make it worth adding to your library. I've been getting an enormous amount from it already.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
So much to learn Dec 27 2012
By Esther - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This the the advertising bible. If all advertising followed what is written in this book, it would be a better place with less "IN YOUR FACE" advertising. It would create a world of more thought provoking and relationship based branding influence.

It reminds you that advertising starts at the concept and is an art that you have to slowly build and perfect.
Thank you Pete, I see my job in a different light.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A must for any ad student July 9 2013
By Fitz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This covers it all, in a way I've never seen before. As a graduate of one of the world's best graduate programs for advertising, I couldn't help but notice a good piece of my education could have been skipped if I'd read this earlier. It's my bible; I still reference it though I work at a top agency in NYC. Gold.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Ideas - where the money's at Sept. 17 2012
By writersblock - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been looking for a book about the proper way to collect and process ideas and form them into functioning campaigns for a while now. There are tons of books about the process of selling and the process of design and creating but this book covers what you want to know about the steps before all of that. Thinking about what the client wants and the best ways to approach those situations. Great book - huge fan!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cuts through the flash and glam, to the heart of effective ads July 5 2012
By Steve Proctor - Published on
Format: Paperback
As Joe Sugarman explained, you need a great concept before you can write an ad. But far too many copywriters and designers focus on the wrong thing first: the flash, the glamor, the cleverness. But the purpose of advertising is to sell. That's it. (Just ask Claude Hopkins.) And what sells is an ad that speaks directly to the ideal customer. And it's the function of the ad concept to provide an ephemeral bridge between the product or service, and a need or want of the buyer.

That's what this book is about, the conceptualization process. And visually, that's the main content of the book. Meaning, that the author has selected about 450 excellent ads, and has done something incredible to them. He strips away the finish, the "finality" of them. And he presents them as sketches, as the raw ideas behind the ad.

It means you won't be distracted by the high-budget production. (There are far, far too many expensive, ineffective ads. Just stay tuned during Super Bowl commercial breaks if you want to see a million examples.) Instead, you see what works about the ad. What's also effective is that the book covers various media. TV, print, etc... but no digital. Still, most of the same rules apply to the web. And he also covers the different aspects of an ad: headline, copy, etc.

So, this may not be the most important book on advertising that's out there, but it covers one aspect -- an essential aspect -- of the ad creative process, so it belongs on the shelf of anyone seriously involved in advertising, or looking to get involved.