Slate reviews a new book on advertising, called What Sticks?, which scientifically analyses the effectiveness of advertising. This is a world of books on advertising which rely on pithy phrases and anecdotes, instead of hard data:
Briggs and Stuart examined the marketing techniques of 30 major corporations, analyzed more than $1 billion in ad spending, and studied the effect of those ads on more than 1 million consumers. I'm in no position to assess their methodology here, but they've at least poured their faith into research and data, not catchphrases and stories. The book strives to find those parts of marketing that can be measured, and then to measure them.