WEBSITES & BOOKS

Websites

To start your research, check out the following websites to get a good background on the industry along with some current and past advertising campaigns:

And if you're feeling intrepid, the following are also good resources:

Books

Books may take a bit more time to read, but do show that you’re willing to put some effort into getting under the skin of advertising. Don’t just look at titles that purely focus on advertising / marketing; often books on other subjects (such as behavioural economics or psychology) can be very helpful.

Here's a starter list of ten books to have a look at:

  1. Confessions of an advertising man - David Ogilvy. A classic advertising text. Not that relevant nowadays, but a solid historical read.
  2. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell. Theories on how small actions can create huge demand.
  3. Predictably Irrational - Dan Ariely. Humans might be irrational, but we can predict (and therefore manipulate) the way in which they are irrational.
  4. Growth Hacking - Ryan Holiday. An interesting (if not wholly reflective) insight into a new world of marketing.
  5. Nudge - Thaler, Cass, Sunstein. We can use our understanding of the way people think to nudge (rather than persuade) them into a way of thinking.
  6. Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman. Persuading people is not just about rational reasons.
  7. Contagious - Jonah Berger. Theories on why certain things become popular.
  8. Good to Great - Jim Collins. A management classic, studying businesses that outperformed others and why.
  9. How Brands Grow - Byron Sharp. An insightful text on the merits of evidence-based marketing (over marketing "theory").
  10. Truth, Lies & Advertising - Jon Steel. Emphasises the importance of account planning and keeping eyes on the consumer for making a successful campaign.