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Reason Why Advertising PLUS

Includes Reason Why Advertising, Intensive Advertising and “How Shall We Know Good Copy”

by John E. Kennedy

This is a bundle of two great advertising classics by John E. Kennedy, Reason Why Advertising and Intensive Advertising. Although a third volume was published, Advertising Tests, it is essentially Reason Why Advertising with added material, the only substantive part being a piece called, “How Shall We Know Good Copy.” Each of the two main publications is available separately or all two together. The extra piece, “How Shall We Know Good Copy.” is a bonus with Intensive Advertising and, of course, included with the bundled package you see here to the right.

All three are combined into a volume called Reason Why Advertising Plus. If ever there was one book that contained the “SECRETS” of successful advertising and, consequently, the secrets of success in business, this book is it.

It all started when a relatively unknown copywriter by the name of John E. Kennedy sent a note to A.L. Thomas, the head of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency.  The note read:

I am in the saloon downstairs.  I can tell you what advertising is.  I know you don’t know.  It will mean much to me to have you know what it is and it will mean much to you.  If you wish to know what advertising is, send the word ‘yes’ down by the bell boy.” Signed–John E. Kennedy

The note would have ended up in the trash if Albert Lasker had not been in the office.  Unknown to Kennedy, Lasker had been searching for the answer to that question for 7 years.

Lasker was the rising star at Lord & Thomas, the third largest ad agency in the world.  It was 1904 when, at the age of 24, he was made a partner and was paid $52,000.  Yet, he did not know, to his satisfaction, what advertising was.  Neither could he find anyone else who knew.

Lasker, starving for an answer, was quick to summon Kennedy to his office.  In that historic meeting three words were whispered.  Three words that changed the face of advertising forever.

Those words were “Salesmanship-in-Print.”  The concept was so basic and so effective that no one has since been able to improve upon it.

After being exposed to this powerful concept, Lasker commissioned the brilliant Kennedy to write the set of principles into a series of lessons which were then used to train Lasker and the Lord & Thomas copywriters.

Soon, Lord & Thomas became the training center for the advertising world.  Their copywriters were so good that other agencies began luring them away with fantastic salaries.  Thus they began spreading the magic of Salesmanship-in-Print to other agencies.  Many also left to form their own agencies – John Orr Young, co-founder of Young & Rubicam was one notable example.

The lessons used to teach the Lord & Thomas copywriters are contained in this book.

Were they successful?  As David Ogilvy said, “Albert Lasker made more money than anyone in the history of the advertising business” (Ogilvy On Advertising, 1985).  The movement came to be known as the Reason Why school of advertising.

Lord & Thomas, under Lasker’s direction and his utilization of Salesmanship-in-Print, defended its position as one of the top agencies in the world, despite fierce competition.  It made a fortune for its clients and helped to establish such well-known brands as Quaker Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat, Palmolive, Van Camp, Oldsmobile, Pepsodent and others.  And it quite literally created the orange juice market which put the California orange growers in business.

But the real proof is found today in the fact that those who use these principles are among the most successful business people in the world.

The world of business owes a debt of gratitude to John E. Kennedy.  Perhaps Lasker said it best:

“the history of advertising could never be written without first place being given to John E. Kennedy, for every copywriter throughout the length and breadth of this land is today being guided by the principles he laid down.”

This book teaches those principles. Enjoy and Prosper.

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