Scientific Advertising

Claude C. Hopkins

Scientific Advertising



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Advertising exists to sell something to someone. To make advertising a safe investment, you must understand how to sell a product, and what drives a consumer to buy. In the book, Scientific Advertising, which still today, remains a timeless classic of modern marketing, the great American advertiser, Claude C. Hopkins, brought together everything he had learned in over thirty years of experience in the field, collected through empirical observations and data collection from his numerous advertising campaigns, some of which were hugely successful, others, total failures. Scientific Advertising is the book everyone should start from, to understand how advertising works, and how to measure results.

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Analysis and key concepts


Advertising is only effective if it manages to generate a profit, and to do so, there are certain rules that need to be followed


Advertising is nothing more than knowing how to sell something to someone, but at a greater scale, and without human interaction


Curiosity drives people to buy, and they often judge a product by price, even if they aren’t familiar with it


Advertising must only be based on comparable data, avoiding the personal opinions of experts


To interest a particular customer, you need to create an advertising campaign based on specific statements, rather than generalisations, platitudes, or exaggerations


Writing the title is the most delicate part of an advertising campaign


Whether it be long or short, the story of our product must be told exhaustively


To sell, your product needs to stand out from the crowd, and to do so, it must have a distinctive trait


The product itself is its own best salesperson, which is why the technique of giving free samples to the customer is one of the most used sales tactics




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Learn the universal principles behind advertising
  • Learn the main techniques used in advertising
  • Improve your sales skills

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.

Publishing house:

Independently published