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Top 49 Advertising Books 2024: Learn From the Best

Our list of the top advertising books includes some of the most talented minds in marketing. Check it out!

Octavia Drexler
By Octavia Drexler
Natalie Stenge
Edited by Natalie Stenge

Updated March 14, 2024.


Nothing beats creativity in advertising. If you work in the field (or want to unleash its power to grow your business) you know just how important it is to be connected with the best ideas in the industry. 

When Google fails to deliver answers and social media makes the noise grow louder, the best place to turn to are... books on advertising. They may not all provide blueprint-like, step-by-step instructions into hacking consumer culture and driving Public Relations stints that conquer public memory. But the best books on advertising fuel ideas, creative thinking, and actionable advice on how to take your ideas from concept to practical strategy. 

Want to know which books can do this for you? Keep reading and find out more. 

The best advertising books that are actually worth your time

Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy


About the author: David Ogilvy, a renowned figure in advertising, founded Ogilvy & Mather and is celebemailrated for his impactful contributions to the field. To many in the field, he is considered one of the fathers of advertising – a reputation he came by honestly, as he was one of the greats on Madison Avenue. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Effective advertising hinges on thorough research and a deep understanding of the target audience
  • Simplicity and clarity in advertising are essential, and the focus should be on highlighting the product's benefits
  • The importance of persuasive copywriting and the creation of compelling, memorable advertisements is emphasized

Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy


(More) about the author: David Ogilvy was a trailblazer in the advertising industry, known for his impeccable taste and strategic approach to campaigns. Despite all the changes in the advertising industry, his lessons are as relevant today as when he first laid them down on paper.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the importance of professionalism, integrity, and honesty in advertising practices
  • Discusses the principles of effective marketing and the role of brand image in building trust
  • Provides practical advice on creating and managing successful advertising campaigns

Everybody Writes, Ann Handley


About the author: Ann Handley is a renowned marketing expert, keynote speaker, and best-selling author. She is well-known for her expertise in content creation and storytelling. In addition to her work as a Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, Handley has also co-founded ClickZ and is a regular contributor to various publications. "Everybody Writes" is not a book on advertising, but it can help anyone working in the industry write better and nail the perfect message for their industry. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the importance of quality writing in creating effective marketing content that connects with audiences
  • Discusses the role of empathy and understanding your target audience in crafting compelling and valuable content
  • Encourages marketers to embrace their unique voice and story to stand out in a crowded digital landscape

The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells, Robert W. Bly


About the author: Robert W. Bly is a respected copywriter and marketing consultant, with over 30 years of experience in the field. He's mostly known for his books on copywriting, but he has also written about other topics like science and science fiction.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Breaks down the process of persuasive copywriting into manageable steps, making it accessible for beginners
  • Emphasizes the importance of understanding the target audience and tailoring the message accordingly
  • Provides numerous tips and techniques for effective headline writing, creating compelling calls to action, and improving overall writing skills

How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp


About the author: Byron Sharp is a respected marketing scientist and an expert on brand growth. He has held various academic positions, including Professor of Marketing Science at the University of South Australia. His research and publications have challenged traditional marketing beliefs and sparked debates in the industry. While "How Brands Grow" may not be a book about advertising per se, it can be an insightful guide for everyone working in advertising. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores fundamental principles of brand growth, based on extensive data analysis and behavioral science
  • Discusses the importance of reaching a wide audience, rather than targeting niche markets, to achieve long-term success
  • Encourages marketers to focus on expanding their customer base by increasing market penetration, rather than solely relying on loyalty from customers

Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads, Luke Sullivan and Edward Boches


About the authors: Luke Sullivan and Edward Boches, advertising professionals, provide valuable insights into creating impactful advertisements. "Hey, Whipple. Squeeze This" is considered a truly classic guide on how memorable ads are created.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Creativity and innovation in successful campaigns, highlighting the need for fresh and engaging ideas
  • Storytelling and emotional connections in ads are powerful tools to resonate with the audience
  • Discusses the challenges and opportunities within the ever-evolving advertising industry

Advertising Concept Book: Think Now, Design Later, Pete Barry


About the author: Pete Barry is an experienced advertising professional who delves into the process of developing advertising concepts. His "Advertising Concept Book" is an insightful guide on how to come up with great ideas and turn them into effective campaigns.

Key lessons from the book:

  • This book encourages the creation of idea-driven advertising concepts that capture attention and engage the audience
  • A structured approach to conceptualizing and designing effective advertisements is essential, and ideas are more important than aesthetics
  • Creative thinking and innovation lie at the basis of great advertising

The Copy Book, D&AD


About the book: "The Copy Book" is a compilation of work from various advertising professionals, showcasing diverse copywriting styles and approaches. This compendium of knowledge is a classic guide for anyone looking for a solid guide to copywriting and advertising in general. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Provides a wide array of examples of copywriting styles and techniques from leading experts in the field, offering inspiration for aspiring copywriters
  • Demonstrates the power of words in creating effective and memorable advertising, highlighting the role of creativity in effective copywriting
  • Offers insight into different innovative strategies in copywriting, showcasing how creativity can drive successful ad campaigns

The Art of Client Service: The Classic Guide, Updated for Today’s Marketers and Advertisers, Robert Solomon

the art of client service

About the author: Robert Solomon is a veteran advertising professional, and his book is considered the definitive guide to building successful client relationships. His "The Art of Client Service" book is an insightful guide on how to build meaningful relationships with your customers. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the crucial role of building and maintaining strong client relationships as a foundation for advertising success
  • Discusses the significance of client service in the context of advertising agencies and the ever-evolving marketing industry
  • Provides practical advice for navigating the unique challenges of the advertising field and delivering exceptional client service

Join or Die: Digital Advertising in the Age of Automation, Patrick Gilbert


About the author: Patrick Gilbert is an industry expert in digital advertising, with a deep understanding of automation's impact on marketing. His "Join or Die" book is a comprehensive guide on how the advertising paradigm shifts in the digital age. So if you want to run search, display, social media ads, or any other type of digital ads, you should definitely read this book. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Automation is transforming digital advertising, making it crucial for marketers to adapt to new technologies and data-driven approaches
  • Successful digital advertising in the automated age requires a balance between automated processes and human creativity and strategy
  • Marketers must harness automation to personalize and target their campaigns effectively while staying ahead of industry changes

Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets, Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney

a book cover with the title play bigger

About the authors: Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney are renowned strategists and business leaders. Collectively known as "The Play Bigger Advisors," they have been instrumental in shaping the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial landscape and have advised many successful companies.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Challenges traditional marketing approaches and encourages businesses to think big, come up with new, practical strategies, and create new categories rather than compete in existing ones
  • Discusses the importance of creating a strong brand narrative that resonates with customers and differentiates brands from competitors
  • Encourages companies to focus on creating iconic products or services that solve real problems for customers

Scientific Advertising, Claude Hopkins


About the author: Claude Hopkins was a pioneer in advertising, known for bringing forward the scientific approach to advertising. He wrote "Scientific Advertising" in 1923, one of the first and most popular books on advertising. Although it's been a century since this book was published, it's still considered one of the most insightful books on human behavior and how advertisers can build creative briefs that nail the best angle – a great skill for upping your social media marketing game!

Key lessons from the book:

  • Advertising should be based on measurable data and results, not guesswork or subjective judgment
  • Direct response advertising, which elicits an immediate response from the audience, is a powerful and effective advertising strategy
  • Creating persuasive advertising that focuses on your potential customers' needs and benefits can lead to higher success rates

Want to learn more about social ads? Check out our list of the top social media books to read.

The Boron Letters, Gary C. Halbert and Bond Halbert

the cover of the book the boron letters

About the author: Gary C. Halbert, through a series of personal letters, imparts valuable marketing and copywriting lessons. The Borom Letters is not what most modern readers would consider an advertising book – it's more like a conversation with a mentor. This is precisely what makes this a classic in the world of advertising. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Building and maintaining strong relationships with potential customers is paramount, as trust and loyalty from customers drive long-term success
  • Effective copywriting involves understanding and addressing the customer's desires, fears, and problems
  • Storytelling, empathy, and engaging content are essential elements in creating compelling and persuasive marketing materials

Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning, Jon Steel

a man holding a cardboard sign that says truth lies and advertising

About the author: Jon Steel explores the world of account planning, drawing from his experience in the advertising business. He has the unique ability to explain complex concepts in a simple and clear manner.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Highlights the importance of account planning as a discipline that uncovers consumer insights and shapes effective and innovative strategies
  • Discusses the art of storytelling and the role of emotional connections in creating memorable advertising campaigns
  • Emphasizes the need for truth and authenticity in advertising, as well as the ethical aspects of the profession

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout

a book cover with a red font on it

About the authors: Al Ries and Jack Trout are two of the most renowned thinkers in marketing and advertising. Al Rise has written several bestselling books on advertising and marketing, while Jack Trout has written extensively about positioning and strategic marketing. "Positioning" is not an advertising book per se, but it can help pretty much anyone in the advertising business, from strategists to copywriters. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Introduces the concept of positioning as a strategy to establish a unique and compelling brand image in consumers' minds
  • Emphasizes the power of simplicity and focus in crafting memorable and effective marketing messages
  • Discusses the importance of consistency and differentiation in positioning to gain a competitive advantage

Need a copywriter who can take your positioning and turn it into copy that speaks to your audience? Contact Mayple and hire a vetted ad copywriter for your business. We'll match you with the best one in less than 72 hours. 

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, Martin Lindstrom


About the author: Martin Lindstrom is a brand consultant and author. "Buyology" is a pioneering book that explores the psychology of consumer buying, backed up by thorough research. Whether you write email marketing or social media marketing copy or run Google Ads, Buyology should be on your list. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Delves into the neurological factors that influence consumer buying decisions and how these insights can be leveraged in advertising
  • Discusses the impact of branding, product placement, and sensory experiences on consumer preferences
  • Emphasizes the need for marketers to understand the subconscious aspects of consumer behavior to create more effective advertising campaigns

>>> Interested in consumer behavior on email? Check out our list of the top email marketing books.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

a blue ocean strategy book on a white background

About the authors: Renée Mauborgne is a professor of strategy at INSEAD (a business school based in France,) and W. Chan Kim is the director of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. In "Blue Ocean Strategy," they explain how companies should focus on new markets to gain a competitive advantage.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explains how to create uncontested market spaces by creating new demand and redefining industry boundaries
  • Use the four actions framework – eliminate, reduce, raise, and create – to differentiate products
  • Provides insights on how to develop unique value propositions that allow companies to stand out from the competition

Reality in Advertising, Rosser Reeves


About the author: Rosser Reeves is a prominent figure in advertising with experience in both agencies and the television industry. In "Reality in Advertising," he shares his thoughts and practical advice on how to craft effective advertising campaigns.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Introduces the concept of the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and the importance of conveying a clear and unique message to consumers
  • Advocates for the use of repetition and simple, compelling advertising messages to create brand recognition and drive sales
  • Emphasizes the need for measurable results in advertising and the role of testing and tracking to assess campaign effectiveness

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip Heath


About the author: Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. "Made to Stick" is a book about communication and how to make ideas memorable. It is particularly useful for anyone involved in the creation of advertising content.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Introduces the SUCCESs framework (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories) for crafting memorable and persuasive messages
  • Discusses the importance of simplicity and surprise in creating messages that stick with audiences
  • Provides practical advice on how to make ideas more engaging and memorable, which is applicable to advertising and communication

Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How to Unleash Your Creative Potential by America’s Master Communicator, George Lois


About the author: George Lois is a prominent communicator and advertising icon who shares his insights on creativity and communication. He has worked on some of the most iconic advertising campaigns in history, such as the “I want my MTV” campaign.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Encourages creative individuals to embrace their unique talents and think differently to stand out in advertising and communication
  • Stresses the importance of passion, risk-taking, and boldness in creative endeavors
  • Offers practical advice on generating innovative ideas and executing creative projects effectively

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz


About the author: Barry Schwartz is a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College. In "The Paradox of Choice," he explains why having too many choices can actually be detrimental. This book is important for marketers and advertisers who must understand the impact of having too many options on consumer behavior.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Discusses how an abundance of choices can lead to decision paralysis and reduced satisfaction with the choices made
  • Emphasizes the value of simplicity and reducing the number of choices to enhance decision-making and overall happiness
  • Highlights the role of advertising and marketing in presenting choices effectively and helping consumers make decisions

Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller


About the author: Donald Miller is an author, public speaker, and business owner. He owns StoryBrand, a successful marketing company.

Key lessons from the book: 

  • Emphasizes the importance of clarity and simplicity in marketing messages to communicate with customers effectively
  • Provides a practical guide on using the power of storytelling to create a clear and compelling brand message that resonates with customers
  • Encourages marketers to focus on the customer's journey and address their needs, rather than solely promoting products or services

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell


About the author: Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author and journalist. In his insightful book, "The Tipping Point," he explains how seemingly small changes can cause a big impact. This book is important for marketers and advertisers who need to understand the power of small events in driving change.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the concept of the "tipping point" and how small actions or factors can lead to significant social change or trends
  • Discusses the role of connectors, mavens, and salespeople in influencing the spread of ideas and products
  • Emphasizes the significance of understanding the factors that drive the adoption of trends in advertising and marketing

Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene M. Schwartz


About the author: Eugene M. Schwartz is a renowned advertising copywriter and strategist who shares his insights on creating effective advertisements. "Breakthrough Advertising" is one of his most famous works, and one of the best, most comprehensive guides to copywriting. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Discusses the importance of understanding and addressing the prospect's state of awareness in advertising copy
  • Breakthrough Advertising advocates for the use of "stage" theory to guide the creation of compelling marketing messages that resonate with the audience
  • Emphasizes the role of copywriting in capturing attention and driving action in advertising

Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger


About the author: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His core body of work explores the factors that make ideas and products contagious. "Contagious" is an insightful guide into how to make exciting ideas spread. It delves into the theory of what makes ideas "stick," and provides also actionable step-by-step instructions on how to do it for your own projects. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Introduces the STEPPS framework (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, Stories) for understanding why things go viral
  • Discusses the role of word-of-mouth, social influence, and storytelling in the spread of ideas and products
  • Provides insights into creating content and campaigns that are more likely to be shared and adopted by the public in modern life

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, Joseph Sugarman


About the author: Joseph Sugarman, an expert in direct response marketing, provides guidance on the art of copywriting. His "Adweek Copywriting Handbook" is one of the most practical guides to copywriting. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the importance of clear and persuasive copywriting to drive sales and conversions in advertising
  • Discusses the principles of effective direct-response advertising, including crafting compelling headlines and offers
  • Offers practical tips and techniques for writing copy that captures attention, builds trust, and motivates readers to take action

The Art of Writing Advertising: Conversations with Masters of the Craft, David Ogilvy, William Bernbach, Leo Burnett, Rosser Reeves, and George Gribbin, Denis Higgins


About the author: Denis Higgins is an advertising writer and creative director who interviews legendary figures in the field of advertising. If you are looking to read just one insightful book on advertising, as soon as possible, pick up this comprehensive guide. It's filled with Madison Avenue-worthy wisdom about human behavior, how advertising works, and how to use modern life to fuel your messages.  

Key lessons from the book:

  • Offers a unique opportunity to learn from legendary advertising figures and their creative processes
  • Highlights the creative and strategic thinking of advertising pioneers, shedding light on their successes
  • Provides valuable lessons on the art of writing advertising from industry visionaries

100 Leo's, Leo Burnett

a picture of a pile of apples with the words 100 leos on it

About the author: Leo Burnett is an advertising guru, renowned for his creative and innovative campaigns. He founded global advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide, which has created iconic ads for several well-known brands.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the importance of staying true to a brand's core values and communicating those values through storytelling in marketing campaigns
  • Discusses the power of emotion in creating memorable and impactful advertisements that resonate with consumers
  • Encourages marketers to think outside the box and take risks to create bold and engaging campaigns that capture audience attention

The Halo Effect, Phil Rosenzweig

the halo effect and the eight other business delusions that deceive managers

About the author: Phil Rosenzweig is a well-renowned professor at IMD Business School in Switzerland, specializing in business strategy and managerial thinking.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the tendency to make sweeping judgments about companies and their success based on limited information, and its implications for advertising
  • Discusses the importance of critical thinking and avoiding the trap of overgeneralization when evaluating business strategies
  • Emphasizes the need for a balanced and nuanced view of success factors in advertising and marketing for successful campaigns

Zag, Marty Neumeier


About the author: Marty Neumeier is a respected thought leader in the field of branding and design strategy. He is the Director of CEO Branding at Liquid Agency and co-founder and partner at Level-C, a five-tier program meant to certify branding experts.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the importance of differentiation and creating a unique brand positioning in the market
  • Discusses the role of simplicity and clarity in conveying a brand's message and value
  • Provides insights on how to stand out in a crowded marketplace and capture the audience's attention

ReWork, Jason Fried and David H. Hansson

a book cover with a crumpled piece of paper

About the authors: Jason Fried and David H. Hansson are recognized for their innovative approach to business. Jason Fried is the co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, a popular project management tool. His forward-thinking and unique perspective on work culture has positioned him as a thought leader in the tech industry. David H. Hansson is the creator of Ruby on Rails, a popular web application framework. Known for his role as Basecamp's CTO, he is also a best-selling author and a Le Mans class-winning racing driver.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Challenges traditional work practices and advocates for a more efficient and productive approach to work
  • Discusses the benefits of staying small, staying focused, and keeping things simple in business
  • Emphasizes the importance of creativity, prioritization, and a results-oriented mindset in advertising and marketing

Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Succeed, Brian Solis

the cover of the book enagel

About the author: Brian Solis is an eminent digital analyst, futurist, and bestselling author. He's known for his deep understanding of disruptive technology and its impact on business and society. Solis has been instrumental in identifying and exploring key trends in the digital world.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Discusses the changing dynamics of consumer-brand relationships in the digital era and the need for authentic engagement
  • Emphasizes the significance of empathy and listening to customers to create meaningful connections in American advertising and marketing
  • Provides a framework for brands to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape and succeed in building lasting relationships

Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas, Jon Steel

a book cover with the title perfect pitch

About the author: Jon Steel is a veteran advertising executive and a preeminent figure in the world of communication strategy. Best known for his contribution as a planner to some of the most successful campaigns in advertising history, Steel is also well-noted for his extraordinary skills in persuasive communication.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Offers a comprehensive guide to crafting persuasive pitches that resonate with decision-makers and clients
  • Discusses the importance of storytelling, emotional connection, and preparation in delivering successful pitches
  • Provides practical tips and innovative strategies for mastering the art of selling ideas and winning support

Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini

a book cover with a yellow and blue background

About the author: Robert B. Cialdini is a renowned psychologist and researcher, famously recognized for his work in the field of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. Currently, he is Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.

Key lessons from the book:

  • This classic book identifies six key principles of influence, including reciprocity, commitment, and social proof, and how they can be applied in advertising and marketing
  • Discusses the power of understanding and leveraging human psychology to create persuasive campaigns
  • Emphasizes ethical considerations when using persuasive techniques in advertising and marketing

Alchemy, The Surprising Power of Ideas that Don’t Make Sense, Rory Sutherland

a book cover of alchemy the magic of original thinking in a world of

About the author: Rory Sutherland is a high-profile figure in the world of advertising and marketing, known for his innovative perspectives. He is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, a globally renowned advertising agency. His expertise lies in applying behavioral economics and irrational thinking to marketing strategies.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Challenges conventional wisdom by highlighting the value of irrational and counterintuitive approaches in advertising
  • Discusses the psychological and emotional factors that influence consumer choices and preferences
  • Encourages marketers to embrace creativity and unconventional thinking to unlock the potential of unexpected and nonsensical ideas

Predatory Thinking, A Masterclass in Outthinking the Competition, Dave Trott


About the author: Dave Trott is an English copywriter who trained in both London and New York. He is considered an advertising guru, as the creative mind for successful campaigns for the likes of Pepsi, Toshiba, and Cadbury Eggs.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Advocates for a mindset of "predatory thinking," which involves seeking creative solutions and unconventional approaches to problems
  • Discusses the importance of simplicity, clarity, and effectiveness in communication to gain a competitive edge
  • Provides practical examples and stories of how predatory thinking can lead to innovative and successful advertising strategies

A Technique for Producing Ideas, James Webb Young

a book cover with the title a technique for producing ideas

About the author: James Webb Young was a highly influential advertising executive known for his innovative approach to idea generation. He played a pivotal role in shaping the modern advertising industry with his unique insights and methodologies.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Introduces a five-step process for idea generation, emphasizing the importance of gathering information and incubation
  • Discusses the need to connect existing ideas and information to form new and innovative solutions
  • Provides a structured approach to cultivating creativity and generating ideas for advertising and marketing campaigns

Why Does the Pedlar Sing, Paul Feldwick


About the author: Paul Feldwick is a seasoned professional in the advertising world, celebrated for his creative approach to marketing strategy. With his extensive practical experience and unique insights, Feldwick's work primarily focuses on harnessing the power of creativity and storytelling in building compelling advertising campaigns.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the history of advertising and the evolving role of creativity within the industry
  • Discusses the tension between creative expression and advertising effectiveness and how to strike a balance
  • Offers a nuanced perspective on creativity, challenges common assumptions, and provides a deeper understanding of the creative process in advertising

The Case for Creativity, James Hurman


About the author: James Hurman is a renowned thought leader in the field of creative marketing and advertising. His work primarily focuses on demonstrating the correlation between creativity and commercial success. Hurman's influential ideas and methodologies have shaped the way businesses understand and leverage creativity in their marketing strategies.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Presents compelling evidence and case studies demonstrating the positive correlation between creative advertising and business results
  • Discusses the value of creative thinking and problem-solving as a competitive advantage in advertising
  • Encourages marketers and advertisers to prioritize creativity as a driver of business growth

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Ed Catmull


About the author: Ed Catmull, a computer scientist and a pioneer in the field of computer graphics, is best known for co-founding Pixar Animation Studios. He also served as the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Throughout his career, Catmull has been instrumental in driving the innovation of computer graphics used in film and other media.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Discusses the importance of creating a culture that encourages and sustains creativity within companies and teams
  • Emphasizes the role of collaboration, feedback, and risk-taking in the creative process
  • Provides practical advice for leaders and creative professionals to overcome challenges and inspire innovation in advertising and beyond

Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently About Advertising, Paul Feldwick

the anatomy of humbug how to think differently about advertising

(More) about the author: Paul Feldwick is a distinguished veteran in the advertising industry, renowned for his innovative thinking and creative strategies. His work emphasizes the understanding of different perspectives to enhance the effectiveness of advertising.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Challenges common advertising myths and exposes the limitations of traditional approaches
  • Advocates for a more nuanced understanding of advertising's role in influencing consumer behavior
  • Encourages critical thinking and a willingness to question established advertising practices

On Creativity, by Isaac Asimov

About the author: Isaac Asimov was a prolific writer, best known for his science fiction works, including the iconic "Foundation" series and "I, Robot." However, his intellectual curiosity spanned beyond just fiction, leading him to pen several essays on a variety of subjects, including creativity. His unique insights into the creative process have provided valuable lessons for individuals across different professions.

Key lessons from the essay:

  • Delves into the creative process and the conditions that foster innovative thinking
  • Discusses the importance of curiosity, knowledge, and interdisciplinary connections in sparking creativity
  • Offers insights that can be applied to advertising, emphasizing the value of continuous learning and exploring diverse fields of knowledge

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See, Seth Godin


About the author: Seth Godin is a highly respected marketing pioneer, author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. With his forward-thinking ideas, he has reshaped the understanding of marketing in the modern digital landscape. Godin is particularly renowned for his emphasis on "permission marketing" and creating meaningful and impactful content that resonates with audiences.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Defines the "permission marketing" concept and emphasizes the significance of empathy and understanding the needs and desires of the audience in modern marketing
  • Advocates for niche marketing and building communities of loyal customers
  • Encourages marketers to focus on serving and engaging with their target audience, rather than simply selling products or services

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, Chris Anderson


About the author: Chris Anderson, a well-regarded thought leader, is best recognized for his groundbreaking work on digital trends and their influence on contemporary business and economics. Formerly the editor-in-chief at "Wired" magazine, Anderson's keen insights have shaped our understanding of the digital era's impact on business strategies.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Discusses the shift from traditional retail and mass marketing to niche markets and online distribution
  • Highlights the value of catering to diverse and specialized customer interests to succeed in the digital era
  • Encourages businesses to leverage the potential of the long tail to offer a wide range of products or services to a global audience

All Marketers Are Liars, Seth Godin

a book cover with a red background and a white circle

(More) about the author: Seth Godin is a distinguished marketing expert, author, and entrepreneur. He is renowned for his innovative and thought-provoking ideas that have significantly influenced modern marketing practices. In addition to his writing, Godin is a sought-after public speaker who challenges conventional marketing wisdom and inspires audiences to think differently.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the power of storytelling and the role of authentic narratives in marketing and advertising.
  • Discusses the concept that consumers seek stories that align with their beliefs and values.
  • Encourages marketers to embrace the art of storytelling and create meaningful connections with their target audience.

Frenemies, Ken Auletta

a book cover with a knife sticking out of it

About the author: Auletta is an established journalist and media critic, whose work delves into the ever-evolving landscape of advertising, technology, and consumer behavior.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the challenges and dynamics of the changing advertising landscape, including the impact of technology and digital platforms
  • Discusses the complex relationships and collaborations between marketers, agencies, and media companies
  • Offers insights into the evolving roles and strategies required to navigate the frenetic world of advertising and media

15 Questions About Native Advertising, Massimo Moruzzi

a book cover with the title 15 questions about native advertising

About the author: Massimo Moruzzi is an insightful author and commentator on advertising and digital marketing. Known for his thought-provoking approach, he critically examines current trends and practices in the industry. Among his many contributions, he is particularly recognized for raising important and challenging questions about the concept and application of native advertising.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the concept of native advertising and its implications for advertising ethics and transparency
  • Discusses the challenges of distinguishing between editorial content and sponsored advertising in the digital realm
  • Encourages a deeper understanding of native advertising's impact on consumer trust and the need for ethical practices

Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, Robert McKee

the cover of a book with a blue background

About the author: Robert McKee is a famous author and educator, highly celebrated for his expertise in storytelling and creative writing. His teachings have gained international acclaim, influencing many writers, filmmakers, and marketing professionals. McKee's unique understanding of narrative structures and their potential in marketing has made him a sought-after figure in both the literary and business worlds.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Emphasizes the role of compelling narratives in capturing and retaining audience attention in a post-advertising era
  • Discusses the principles of storytelling and how they can be applied to marketing campaigns
  • Encourages marketers to shift from traditional advertising to storytelling as a more effective way to engage customers

The 1-Page Marketing Plan, Allan Dib

the 1 - page marketing plan get new customers, make more money, and stand

About the author: Allan Dib is a marketing consultant and entrepreneur who has built multiple successful businesses. He is known for his practical and straightforward approach to marketing, helping businesses of all sizes achieve their growth goals. Although this is not a book on advertising, in "1-Page Marketing Plan," Allan Dib aims to help businesses create comprehensive, yet uncomplicated marketing plans. 

Key lessons from the book:

  • Encourages businesses to develop a comprehensive and concise one-page marketing plan that outlines objectives, target market, messaging, and tactics
  • Discusses the importance of understanding customer needs and creating value propositions that resonate with them
  • Emphasizes the power of implementing and testing various marketing strategies to find what works best for each business

Growth Hacker Marketing, Ryan Holiday

a book cover with arrows on it

About the author: Ryan Holiday is an acclaimed writer and marketing strategist, well-known for his innovative approach to growth hacking. He has worked with many successful startups and established his reputation as a leading figure in contemporary marketing trends. Holiday's insights into the application of growth hacking principles in marketing have been transformative for many businesses.

Key lessons from the book:

  • Explores the principles of growth hacking, which involve data-driven experimentation and rapid iteration
  • Discusses the importance of a "growth hacker" mindset, where marketing and product development are intertwined
  • Encourages marketers to adopt agile and innovative approaches to fuel business growth in the digital age

Read more, write better: Create ads that make an impact

Although relatively new in the grand scheme of things, the world of advertising is a bustling hub for exciting ideas, innovative strategies, and indispensable lessons on human behavior, buyer psychology, and building businesses that stick to the collective memory. 

It doesn't matter if you're a Creative Director with dozens of campaigns under your belt, a new intern in a local Public Relations or advertising agency, an advertising manager or social media marketing manager in a SaaS, or a fresh business owner looking for ways to bring your business into the limelight. If you are attracted to advertising in any way, the books on advertising in this list will help you master consumer culture psychology, writing that sells, and creativity in advertising (and beyond).

Reading books on advertising is about more than merely collecting tips and tricks. It's a cross-industry, multi-generational, a-geographical way of communicating the best ideas possible.

And if you're looking for a pro to help you turn all these guides to advertising into modern life-inspired ads that engage and sell, don't hesitate to contact Mayple. We only work with vetted advertising agencies, and we can match you with the right one for your business in less than three days!