Advertising Concept Book Paperback – Jul 8 2008
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A solid, fun, informative read. — CMYK Magazine
Invaluable advice. — Creative Review
Sound advice for advertising creatives. — Communication Arts
The book supports our school's philosophy: have a great concept before you run to the computer. — Maria Scileppi, Associate Director, Chicago Portfolio School
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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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.
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.
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.