I’ll admit I’d never heard of Josh Weltman, but boy does he bury the lede with his new book Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You’re Selling.
Because Josh Weltman is an LA-based veteran creative director who’s also a co-producer of Mad Men, and underneath the subtitle of the book is the sub-subtitle “The Little Black Book of Advertising Secrets.” And the book begins with a foreward by Jon Hamm. Now I’m intrigued.
So is Seducing Strangers the Holy Grail of ad books? No, not really. But it’s a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of good thinking peppered throughout the book. Weltman gives his topics a few pages each, touching on a wide variety of topics including the purpose of advertising, creating introductory ads, selling a product that isn’t a high quality product, differentiation, counterintuitive thinking, and many more. Along the way, he drops a few good stories about the Mad Men writer’s room and how the show used his expertise to pump up the advertising-focused storylines.
Seducing Strangers makes for a quick, breezy read; the kind you’d love to have on the plane while headed to a client meeting. People who’ve been working in the advertising industry for a while will get a refresher in the basics of the business and some good tips to keep them grounded.
But at the same time, I suspect that Weltman wrote the book to pull back the curtain a bit for those outside the ad business. People who don’t quite understand why advertising people do what they do, or how they do it, will learn a lot from Seducing Strangers — more than they ever learned from watching “Mad Men” itself.
Special Thanks to Workman Publishing for providing me with a review copy.