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  • Writer's pictureDavid de Souza

Confessions of an Advertising Man: 80/20 Summary

Updated: Feb 10, 2022


Mental Models from the book:

'Confessions of an Advertising Man' can be summarised into 6 mental models:

1. Attentional Bias

  • Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will go unnoticed.

  • Use Captions under photos.

2. Co-operation

  • Committees can criticize ads but don't allow them to write them.

3. Emotions

  • Your ad should not be cute or funny. People don't buy from clowns.

4. Specialization

  • Your ad can not be all things to all people. It can't be a male brand and a female brand. The result will be a brand without personality.

  • Concentrate on creating a sharply defined personality, it will get the majority of sales at the highest margin.

5. System 1 vs System 2 Thinking

  • Break free from reason and unblock your imagination to be creative.

6. Trust

  • The more facts you provide the more you'll sell.

  • Start with axioms that people can not question and then move on to more questionable ones.

  • Tell prospective clients about your imperfections. You become more believable and trustworthy.


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