I’ve been eager to get my hands on a copy of the always salty and entertaining George Parker’s (of Adscam and Adhurl fame) new book Madscam: Kick-Ass Advertising Without The Madison Avenue Price Tag. It arrived from Amazon yesterday, and while I haven’t read it cover to cover, I can give you a heads up on what it’s all about.
Let’s start with what the book isn’t: It’s not a compendium of George’s blog, or a how-to-generate-ideas book for creatives. Nor is it a gin-soaked recollection of Barbados TV shoots. And there’s surprisingly little cursing throughout the book, although George’s unique voice is still present.
Madscam is, at its core, a “how to advertise” primer for small- and medium-sized businesses. George covers a broad range of topics including selecting an agency (or freelancers), the pros and cons of various media, and how to spot good ideas from bad ones, and techniques to avoid in general, with a number of good anecdotes that prove his points.
Some of this is old hat to longtime agency people, but lots of entrepreneurs and small business executives can learn a lot reading Madscam. Particularly if they’re getting bamboozled by small time ad hucksters and media sales reps who think the cure for every business is spending more money on station-produced spots. Competition is fiercer than ever for small businesses—and in many cases, it’s worldwide now. And they have little cash to waste on big-budget TV spots and little time to spend on goofy shit like creating avatars and islands in Second Life.
Madscam is a good read for people who can’t spend 100% of their time worrying about advertising because they’ve got other aspects of the business to focus on—like keeping the lights on.
So cheers on the book, George. The ‘Poisoned Dwarf’ and Donny Deutsch would be proud of you.
Madscam: Long On Common Sense, Short On Cursing
Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.