Most helpful critical review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not nearly as impressed w/the author as he is w/himself
on August 5, 2003
Okay- I realize that negative reviews tend to get "No, this review didn't help me" votes, but seriously - if I can stop ONE person from wasting their money & time, I've gotta brave it.
I'm a big fan of the ADWEEK books... but this one...
First- the author spends the first 40+ pages telling you about the "impressive" (his word) list of companies he's worked with and how brilliant and successful he is and the importance of this topic. He even says that the reason his techniques (and they are NOT his alone- but more on that in a second) are so successful is b/c of the names he's given them (he's even got little "TM"s next to some of them)- Anyway- did you get that- it's not the ideas! It's the NAMES! Now that is a creative argument.
He also wastes a PROFOUND amount of time telling you about the domain of creativity. I know that should be an important topic- but how many times and ways do I have to hear that talent (say, ability to draw) is not the same thing as creativity. He even puts in a picture his dad painted and bashes it as talented (accurate rendering) but not creative (painted from another painting). He also spends a frightening amount of time telling you how his ideas will help you. It should have taken maybe 5 pages- he took 69. You spend nearly 70 pages feeling like you are reading an infomercial for his seminars. A personal pet peeve of mine are these little Rolodex-looking cards he has printed throughout that are written by companies talking about how helpful his seminars and ideas were to developing ideas. If they were case studies, this might have been helpful- instead it's more "Gosh- his seminar/technique sure did help us, and we are selling more t-shirts than ever!" Again, I only learned how important and significant this Monahan guy is.
Now- the tools he uses... it's not that his tools are useless- it's that there are so FEW of them and there is not one single thing he discusses in his book that isn't covered in Thinkertoys (and some are even in Hey Whipple Squeeze This). Not only that, but they are covered in more depth in Thinkertoys, with better and more thorough examples, and there are more ideas overall in that book (there are only 7 here-there are TONS in Thinkertoys).
Honestly- I could bash this book all day- let me just PLEASE save you some time and energy- get Thinkertoys (and if you are really specifically interested in the creative process in advertising- Hey Whipple) and SAVE YOUR TIME. You will not miss SQUAT.