Back in J-school, a design professor told us that a full 25% of readers read newspapers and magazines from back-to-front. (To which, our agency creative director would respond – did you know that 78% of statistics are made up on the spot!?)
Anyway, I’m happily in the 25%.
In fact, my magazines and even nonfiction books quickly become a choose-your-own-adventure, notes-all-over-the-index, dog-eared mess.
So, true to form, when I picked up Mark Tungate’s new ad history book, I flipped right to the chapter on Chicago, then to Consolidation Incorporated (did you know: ‘Almost everyone in advertising works for one of five different companies’) and onto Dotcom Boom and Bust before even flipping through the index.
I mention all of this because: I really recommend this book.
It’s advertising history with a nostalgic, cultural lens. And, it’s written in a way that rewards browsing and ‘digging in’ alike. A couple of not-to-miss sub-chapters:
- Blood, Sweaters and Tears – Remember the impact of Toscani’s Benetton photography? Ads and images that still define the brand
- Lowe and Beyond – Including Frank Lowe, the hero of passionate, strategic account guys
- An Onomatopoeic Agency – That’s the one dog-earred by the creative director who stole the book from me
- And, Cornflakes and Cowboys – The history of advertising as written by Marlboro and P&G
An ominously titled Sir Martin Sorrell (yes, of WPP), in a top-billing review on the book’s front cover, calls Adland ‘immensely readable.’
As always, it’s more difficult to write short than long, but, yeah – here-here, Sir.
See the AdAge review