Recommended Reads Advent Calendar: Day Nine

Stuart Clark 2 mins

More Christmas advent calendar recommended reads! Head of Copy Stuart Clark recommends How to Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better. You could win your own copy just by sharing this post.

How To Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better

Authors: Vic Polkinghorne & Andy Palmer

First published: 2015

Advertising effectiveness is deteriorating – but why?

The problem as Vic Polkinghorne and Andy Palmer, founders of Sell! Sell!, see it is this: marketers on the client-side view working with agencies as painful and laborious. Meanwhile, agency folk say they feel overworked, undervalued and stifled by poor process. The net result is an industry producing advertising that’s forgettable and under-performing.

So, what’s the solution?

This book is both a reality check and a manifesto for change. Comprising forty single-page ‘chapters’, its starting position is that the way businesses work with agencies and the way agencies organise themselves and develop advertising, needs to be improved – or given ‘a much-needed kick up the proverbial’, to quote the introduction.

It offers some really valuable pointers on the things that can make advertising successful – surprise, entertainment, provocation – whilst calling out some of the hyperbole that pervades the industry. For example, the idea that people can be in a ‘relationship’ with a brand that they ‘love’ and are desperate to ‘join the conversation’.

But it also questions the day to day relationships between agencies and their clients – the over-reliance on presentation decks, the relentless squeezing of costs by procurement departments, and the danger of the ‘lapdog’ or ‘yes man’ attitude that pervades certain agencies.

In short, whether you’re a business owner, chief executive, marketer or brand director who works with agencies, or an agency chief, ad exec or creative, you will undoubtedly find this book both thought-provoking and inspiring.

My favourite quote?

Here’s my favourite quote: “Fight the urge for speed, make sure the right people have enough time to do their job properly, and you will consistently get better advertising.”

The ninth of twenty-five of the best business books we’ve ever read. Our recommended reading for your Christmas break. And to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we’re giving you the chance to win these coveted, sought-after reads, just by sharing and re-posting one of our daily recommendations.


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