5 pieces of wisdom from marketing’s ‘golden age’

The advice of half a century ago isn’t as irrelevant today as you might think.

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I’m a lifelong marketing geek, so I gathered up these books during a holiday visit to Del Boca Vista. I was drawn to the older books and couldn’t wait to see what outdated practices and advice these aged tomes had in store for me. The first one I cracked open was called “How to Write a Good Advertisement: a Short Course in Copywriting” by Victor O. Schwab.

I jumped right into chapter one: “Get Attention.” Surely the way to get attention in 1962 was way different from today. TV was in its infancy. We didn’t have computers, the Internet, or smartphones. Yet as I began to read, I quickly realized that Schwab’s insight and advice is just as applicable today as it was 53 years ago. A few examples:

1. You are an uninvited guest. Schwab discusses the competition advertisers face when trying to get the audience’s attention. No one is on the edge of their seats, waiting and hoping to hear from you. So what value or entertainment are you going to provide to get their attention?

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