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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War Audio CD


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400119898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400119899
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,088,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 9 2011
Format: Paperback
Jerry Della Femina's now forty year-old book has been appropriately resurrected with the success of Mad Men. In fact, it is now a text book case of co-branding. Clearly, the original book was fodder for Matthew Weiner's superlative series and, as a result, is now leveraging the television drama on its re-released cover along with an endorsement from Mr. Weiner (the cover art now emulates Mad Men's opening sequence).

Della Femina would be a guy you would want to sit next to on a stool at the Oyster Bar. He would regal you with raunchy stories of Madison Avenue and if you listen carefully enough, you may learn something about advertising. Buried within the stories of drinking, toking, cheating, and playing politics are a few good bon mots like:

"There is no such thing as a bad client. But there is such a thing as bad advertising."

"Most account guys live with fear in their hearts."

"Creative people do not have a business sense about themselves."

"There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that good advertising will do is put you out of business."

Throughout the book there is high praise for Bill Bernbach and his agency, DDB. In fact, he sites the Volkswagen campaign as the industry game-changer and the people from DDB as the successful archetype for the industry as a whole. A beneficial section is on presenting and pitching where Della Femina accurately likens it to theater.

In terms of the Mad Men antics, he summarizes the industry with: "Crazy? Yes. Romantic and glamorous? Not one bit. The wild stuff, I'm afraid, is very much overrated." Which is true in Mad Men when we see agencies and individuals sow the seeds of their own destruction week to week.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Early Ad Lore Still Amuses Nov. 18 2005
By Chris Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Work in advertising? See how little it's changed in the last 35 or 40 years by reading this snarky and cutting look inside the biz. Learn about the pioneering admen (and women, though precious few in those days) who got the account for the first feminine hygiene deodorant spray! Thrill to stories of the first efforts to market Japanese products when everybody KNEW nothing good came from there. Japanese cars?? HA!!

So times have changed a little. But the business remains the same (i.e., utterly absurd), as these backstage stories show.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mad Men Co-Branding Aug. 9 2011
By Jeffrey Swystun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jerry Della Femina's now forty year-old book has been appropriately resurrected with the success of Mad Men. In fact, it is now a text book case of co-branding. Clearly, the original book was fodder for Matthew Weiner's superlative series and, as a result, is now leveraging the television drama on its re-released cover along with an endorsement from Mr. Weiner (the cover art now emulates Mad Men's opening sequence).

Della Femina would be a guy you would want to sit next to on a stool at the Oyster Bar. He would regal you with raunchy stories of Madison Avenue and if you listen carefully enough, you may learn something about advertising. Buried within the stories of drinking, toking, cheating, and playing politics are a few good bon mots like:

"There is no such thing as a bad client. But there is such a thing as bad advertising."

"Most account guys live with fear in their hearts."

"Creative people do not have a business sense about themselves."

"There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that good advertising will do is put you out of business."

Throughout the book there is high praise for Bill Bernbach and his agency, DDB. In fact, he sites the Volkswagen campaign as the industry game-changer and the people from DDB as the successful archetype for the industry as a whole. A beneficial section is on presenting and pitching where Della Femina accurately likens it to theater.

In terms of the Mad Men antics, he summarizes the industry with: "Crazy? Yes. Romantic and glamorous? Not one bit. The wild stuff, I'm afraid, is very much overrated." Which is true in Mad Men when we see agencies and individuals sow the seeds of their own destruction week to week.

The book works extremely well as a time capsule but is not a "how-to" (nor is it meant to be). But if you are looking for both great ad industry stories and how to be successful within it, I suggest: "Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising" by Luke Sullivan. But be extremely careful when you read anything on advertising because it has been written by advertisers. As Della Femina cautions, "Part of this business - a big part of it - is illusion."
Still a fun read.... Sept. 15 2014
By R.G. Belsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was written a long time ago, and it was kind of a ground breaker of its time. Ripping the lid of secrecy off of the advertising business. I just re-read it again and it's still great. Dated in spots of course, but the energy and the edge of Della Femina's take on the business that we only know through Mad Men today is still spot on. The brilliant title comes from...well, read it yourself.
Funny, But Dated June 12 2014
By Sulross-Grad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book many years ago, but lost my copy and decided to read it again. The humor ( as in "torches for dwarfs") is still sharp, but many references in the book are so dated from the 50's and 60's that they lack relevance, especially for younger readers. Still, as a historical insight into the advertising world at that time, I recommend it highly. It is well written by one of the real "Mad Men" in the industry. Had I rated this book in the early 80's when I first read it, I would have given it five stars, but it has lost some of its punch over the years.
Great Title, So-So Content May 19 2014
By Kevin L. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had always heard what an iconic character Della Femina was in the advertising biz and decided that I was long overdue for this book. It's really a fairly gritty look at the Madison Avenue scene and not a light read.

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