The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising
The King of Madison Avenue is part biography, part history of advertising, and part advertising as a business. While there are sections about startups, mergers, and companies going public, The King of Madison Avenue also covers client management during various advertising campaigns.
As you read The King of Madison Avenue, you will find some concepts and thoughts about advertising, branding, and marketing in the old school, plus information about how to take advantage of the newer methodologies in Web 2.0. sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more; you will recognize that advertising needs to be all-encompassing in its approach to getting the word out about products, especially when newspapers are closing down and advertising revenues are declining. The King of Madison Avenue lists other books on the subject of advertising by some respected advertising professionals who ran advertising companies from the 1930s to the 1990s. Many of these professionals were also copywriters, with quite a few lacking college degrees. Experience and a good mentor evidently mean more to a career than experience in academia in certain cases. A good working knowledge of writing basics and a fair amount of practice, along with a desire to work hard and learn, added to a degree of keen instinct and enthusiasm for the products themselves—all contribute to a successful career in advertising. The biography sections about David Ogilvy are well written and give us a glimpse into the genius and the eccentricities of a major contributor to advertising. Ogilvy’s thoughts about clients and his unique approaches to advertising alone make The King of Madison Avenue an interesting read. If you want the history of and some basic knowledge about advertising, this is one book you should read—probably more than once. Reviewer Robert Medak is a writer and editor.