10 non-advertising books to read if you wish to work in advertising
We’ve all seen the Mad Men episode where Mr. Cooper suggests to Don Draper to read Atlas Shrugged (Season 1 Episode 8, The Hobo Code). Later in the season, Don appears to have been influenced by the book’s philosophies, saying, “If you don’t appreciate my hard work, then I will take it away and we’ll see how you do.”
But Atlas Shrugged is not the only book featured in Mad Men. Inferno by Dante Alighieri is also seen on Don’s hands while he is on the beach, Mark Twain is regular and many more.
The reality is that if you want to work in Advertising you must read. A lot. Literature is the best place to find insights about human nature.
Advertising is all about finding the right insight and generating the correct ideas to leverage this small point of advantage in your favor. We need tools to help us find insights, put them in perspective, and rationalize them in order to get better at our job. So here are 10 books that can help you in your journey to becoming a Mad Man (or Woman).
- The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
Even though the book is based on Americans, trust me it applies all over the world. Disbelief, identity politics, political correctness, inability to listen to different opinions, are all feelings that we encounter daily on social media. Understanding why these feelings have taken control of modern society is very important if we want to leverage social and digital media on campaigns. Challenging our own beliefs is even more important and this book certainly makes you do that.
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
There is the rational and the intuitive part of our brains. There are impulsive decisions and fully rationalized. In advertising, you need to apply to both. In order to do so, you have to understand how the mind works. When the emotional, intuitive fast system 1 takes over and when the slow rational system 2 does. The…