My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising

Claude C. Hopkins

My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising



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My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising, the edition containing both of Claude C. Hopkins’ books, is the autobiographical tale of one of the pioneers of advertising, starting with a childhood in poverty, leading to an extremely successful career. It is also the story of the very beginning of advertising itself, as well as a compendium of universal principles that apply to the sale of any product, principles that are defined as the scientific laws of advertising. Many years on, Hopkins’ experience continues to prove its worth as enlightening, effective and relevant even in the modern world of digital marketing.

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Analysis and key concepts


Caution and hard work: the family inheritance that laid the foundations for the success of Hopkins’ career


The importance of understanding your potential clients and learning on the job


The power of putting on a show


A good product is its own best seller, so you need to give out free samples


Clarity, positivity and invitation to action: the characteristics of effective copywriting


Tell people what you do and back your story up with facts and figures


The crucial importance of testing, evaluating and being well informed


Mail order: the most challenging form of advertising for a copywriter


Why Hopkins feels that advertising is a science




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Many useful tips to:

  • Discover the story of the birth of advertising told by one of its pioneers.
  • Learn the universal principles that are the basis for every approach to sales.
  • Learn life lessons from a man who built his extraordinary career from scratch.
  • Understand how to apply universal psychological principles to modern marketing methods.

Claude C Hopkins (1866 – 1932), was one of the pioneers of modern advertising. A copywriter from Michigan, he is a legendary figure in the history of commercial communication. Many people, including David Ogilvy, called him “the biggest creator of advertising who has ever practiced the art”. Hopkins was very clear about his role in advertising, or selling more goods and services. He believed in inserting advertising in the overall approach to marketing and that a good product was often its own best advertisement, so he was one of the first people to introduce the practice of giving out free samples and analysing their results to improve the efficacy of advertising. He concluded his career as the president of the advertising agency Lord & Thomas in Chicago.

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