Last Updated on 1 year by Greg Noland

John Caples – A Master of Copywriting

The Navy officer who wrote the most famous ad of all time.

As a junior copywriter at the Ruthrauff and Ryan mail-order advertising agency, Caples wrote the ad which might be one of the most famous all-time.

John Caples was a strong believer in testing ads, consistency in copywriting, and simplicity in ads.

“They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano…”

A bit later, he also wrote another famous ad:

“They Grinned When The Waiter Spoke To Me In French”.

Both ads have been “plagiarized” continuously ever since.

One year later Caples moved to BBDO (Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn) where he spent the rest of his writing career.

John Caples also wrote 5 books:

  • Tested Advertising Methods (1932)
  • Advertising For Immediate Sales (1936)
  • Advertising Ideas (1938)
  • Making Ads Pay (1957)
  • How to Make Your Advertising Make Money (1983)

If you are serious about learning the craft of copywriting, I urge you to hunt down all of these books and analyse them carefully.

Many of the world’s leading copywriters regard Tested Advertising Methods as one of the best copywriting “How-To” bibles ever written — detailing proven advertising methods that sell like crazy.

Caples revised the book 3 times (in 1947, 1961 and 1974).

In Making Ads Pay, Caples reveals a 7-step checklist of proven methods that have been repeated and repeated in successful ads:


  1. Does you ad attract the RIGHT AUDIENCE?
  2. Does your ad HOLD the audience?
  3. Does your copy CREATE DESIRE?
  4. Do you prove it’s a BARGAIN?
  5. Do you establish CONFIDENCE?
  6. Do you make it EASY TO ACT?
  7. Do you give prospects a reason to ACT AT ONCE?

In 1973 Caples was elected into the Copywriters Hall of Fame and four years later into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Which is your favourite Caples book and why?

Please leave a comment below…

Why don’t you treat yourself to the first book, “Tested Advertising Methods” today?

I’d love to keep sharing these copywriting golden nuggets, but I have a big copywriting project to finish before Friday…

Talk soon buddy…

stay safe with Greg Noland

Yours for Bigger Profits, More Often,

Greg Noland

Red Scorpion’s Head Copywriter

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