”Perhaps the most brilliant marketing mind to ever walk the planet. He took the principles we all use to catapult our businesses to new heights. The difference is we are using technology, while he used the pen and paper. He was a mastermind marketer and one of the world’s most savvy advertisers. Everyone can learn a million lessons from reading and re-reading Scientific Advertising.
Scientific Advertising – A name that helps
There is great advantage in a name that tells a story. The name is usually prominently displayed. To justify the space it occupies, it should aid the advertising. Some such names are almost complete advertisements in themselves. May Breath is such a name. Cream of Wheat is another. That name alone has been worth a fortune. Other examples are Dutch Cleanser, Cuticura, Dynashine, Minute Tapioca, 3-in-one Oil, Holeproof, Alcorub, etc.
Such names may be protected, yet the name itself describes the product, so it makes a valuable display.
Other coined names are meaningless. Some examples are Kodak, Karo, Mazda, Sapolio, Vaseline, Kotex, Lux, Postum, etc. They can be protected, and long-continued advertising may give them a meaning. When this is accomplished they become very valuable. But the great majority of them never attain status.
Such names do not aid the advertising. It is very doubtful if they justify display. The service of the product, not the name, is the important thing in advertising. A vast amount of space is wasted in displaying names and pictures which tell no selling story. The tendency of modern advertising is to eliminate waste.
Other coined names signify ingredients which anyone may use. Examples are Syrup of Figs, Coconut Oil Shampoo, Tar Soap, Palmolive Soap, etc.
Such products may dominate a market if the price is reasonable, but they must to a degree meet competition. They invite substitution. They are naturally classified with other products which have like ingredients, so the price must remain in that class.
Toasted Corn Flakes and Malted Milk are examples of unfortunate names. In each of those cases one advertiser created a new demand. When the demand was created, others shared it because they could use the name. The originators depended only on a brand. It is interesting to speculate on how much more profitable a coined name might have been.
On a patented product it must be remembered that the right to a name expires with that patent. Names like Castoria, Aspirin, Shredded Wheat Biscuit, etc., have become common property.
This is a very serious point to consider. It often makes a patent an undesirable protection.
Another serious fault in coined names is frivolity. In seeking uniqueness one gets something trivial. And that is a fatal handicap in a serious product. It almost prohibits respect.
When a product must be called by a common name, the best auxiliary name is a man’s name. It is much better than a coined name, for it shows that some man is proud of his creation.
Thus the question of a name is of serious importance in laying the foundations of a new undertaking. Some names have become the chief factors in success. Some have lost for their originators four-fifths of the trade they developed.
Scientific Advertising – Good business
A rapid stream ran by the writers boyhood home. The stream turned a wooden wheel and the wheel ran a mill. Under that primitive method, all but a fraction of the streams potentiality went to waste.
Then someone applied scientific methods to that stream put in a turbine and dynamos. Now, with no more water, no more power, it runs a large manufacturing plant.
We think of that steam when we see wasted advertising power. And we see it everywhere hundreds of examples. Enormous potentialities millions of circulation used to turn a mill-wheel. While others use that same power with manifold effect.
We see countless ads running year after year which we know to be unprofitable. Men spending five dollars to do what one dollar might do. Men getting back 30 percent of their cost when they might get 150 percent. And the facts could be easily proved.
We see wasted space, frivolity, clever conceits, entertainment. Costly pages filled with palaver which, if employed by a salesman, would reflect on his sanity. But those ads are always unkeyed. The money is spent blindly, merely to satisfy some advertising whim.
Not new advertisers only. Many an old advertiser has little or no idea of his advertising results. The business is growing through many efforts combined, and advertising is given its share of the credit.
An advertiser of many years standing, spending as high as $700,000 per year, told the writer he did not know whether his advertising was worth anything or not. Sometimes he thought that his business would be just as large without it.
The writer replied, I do know. Your advertising is utterly unprofitable, and I could prove it to you in one week. End an ad with an offer to pay five dollars to anyone who writes you that he read the ad through. The scarcity of replies will amaze you.
Think what a confession that millions of dollars being spent without knowledge of results. Such a policy applied to all factors in a business would bring ruin in short order.
You see other ads which you may not like as well. They may seem crowded or verbose. They are not attractive to you, for you are seeking something to admire, something to entertain. But you will note that those ads are keyed. The probability is that out of scores of traced ads the type which you see has paid the best.
Many other ads which are not keyed now were keyed at the beginning. They are based on known statistics. They won on a small scale before they ever ran on large scale. Those advertisers are utilizing their enormous powers in full.
Advertising is prima facie evidence that the man who pays believes that advertising is good. It has brought great results to others, it must be good for him. So he takes it like some secret tonic which others have endorsed. If the business thrives, the tonic gets credit. Otherwise, the failure is due to fate.
That seems almost unbelievable. Even a storekeeper who inserts a twenty-dollar ad knows whether it pays or not. Every line of a big store’s ad is charged to the proper department. And every inch used must the next day justify its cost.
Yet most national advertising is done without justification. It is merely presumed to pay. A little test might show a way to multiply returns.
Such methods, still so prevalent, are not very far from their end. The advertising men who practice them see the writing on the wall. The time is fast coming when men who spend money are going to know what they get. Good business and efficiency will be applied to advertising. Men and methods will be measured by the known returns, and only competent men can survive.
Only one hour ago an old advertising man said to the writer, “The day for our type is done. Bunk has lost its power. Sophistry is being displaced by actuality. And I tremble at the trend.”
So do hundreds tremble. Enormous advertising is being done along scientific lines. Its success is common knowledge. Advertisers along other lines will not much longer be content.
We who can meet the test welcome these changed conditions. Advertisers will multiply when they see that advertising can be safe and sure. Small expenditures made on a guess will grow to big ones on a certainty. Our line of business will be finer, cleaner, when the gamble is removed. And we shall be prouder of it when we are judged on merit
There you have it.
The secrets to successful marketing and advertising.
Now I highly suggest you print out all the chapters and read them at least 10 times over the next 12 months.
Each time you read Scientific Advertising you’ll pick up one more idea, and it could very well be the ideas that changes everything in your life.
To your continued success