Summary of Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:November 1, 2022

Summary: 3 min

Book reading time: 1h38

Score: 8/10

Book published in: 1923

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  • Only address yourself to people that are interested in your product.
  • Generalities leave no impression. Be specific.
  • Never use an ad to educate people. Only talk about what they already know.

What Scientific Advertising Talks About

Scientific Advertising is a marketing book written by Claude Hopkins. It’s considered one of the bibles of advertising today. It explains that in marketing, you don’t want to reach everyone. You want to reach people that are interested in your product. The rest are a bunch of principles Hopkins figured out during his career in advertising.

The book was too concise for my taste and a bit outdated, which is no wonder since it came out a century ago in 1923.

However, the principles it teaches are timeless and cannot be ignored.

Buy the book here.

Summary of Scientific Advertising Written by Claude Hopkins

Advertising is now fixed in safe principles.

Advertising is salesmanship: its only purpose is to make sales.

In written advertising, fine writing is a disadvantage. They take attention from the subject.

In advertisement, the only readers are the people interested in the subject.

Ads are not there to entertain, but to sell.

The advertiser studies the consumer and tries to place himself in his shoes.

The reason for most failures in ads is selling people what they don’t want to buy.

The best ads do not ask to buy, they are based entirely on a service.

The picture is very important and has value in the ad.

The difference between ads and salesmanship is that the latter cannot be ignored. As such, the ad must demand attention.

The purpose of a headline is to pick out people you can interest.

Create headlines for people interested in your product only.

Spend time on headlines, hours, as it is the most important piece of the ad.

Address the people you seek, and them only.

Point out some qualities to an article and everyone will find them.

Generalities leave no impression. Be specific.

Tell about all the claims surrounding your product.

Many pics tell a better story than words do. If that’s the case, use the pic. If not, don’t use it, and use the space for words.

Do nothing that merely interests, amuses, or attracts. Do always that that wins the people you are after in the cheapest way possible.

Things too costly to do:

  • Changing habits.
  • Educate people on a known-fact
  • Educate people on an unknown-fact

People will do much to cure a problem, but little to prevent it.

Don’t create new desires. When new desires are created, go to the ones looking to satisfy them. It’s a matter of time.

Out of all the benefits of the product, choose the most important one.

An ad-writer must gain full information on his subject, including the content of ads from competitors.

An ad must appear simple to appeal to simple people.

Many times, the name of the brand was the greatest factor in the success of an ad. Sometimes, it was a crucial disadvantage.

The product itself should be its own best salesman.

Give out samples. Samples work. Give samples to interested people only.

When you are mailing a free sample, mail it to the shop where the customer can buy more of it, don’t mail it to the customer’s home.

Almost any question can be answered by a test campaign.

The court of last resort is the buyers of your product.

None of us knows people’s desires enough to get an average viewpoint. If you want to know whether your product will work, do a test campaign.

Your object in all advertising is to buy new customers at a price that pays for a profit. Learn what your customers cost, and what they buy.

A person who wishes to make an impression must stand out from the masses in a pleasing way. This is why products are sold by people, not by corporations.

To attack a rival is never good advertising.

Talk of upcoming good conditions, not conditions that exist.

Pictures what people wish to be, not what they may be now.

Tell people what to do, not what to avoid.

Do something to get immediate action at the end of a sales letter, or tell what delay may cost, or both.

The service of the product, not the name, is the important thing in advertising.

Most national advertising is done without justification. It is assumed to pay. A little test might show a way to multiply returns.

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