Claude Hopkins is a legendary advertising executive whose 1923 classic Scientific Advertising set down solid rules for using advertising in the most effective way. He extolled the virtues of selling on merit without any attempt to be clever or entertaining. His thinking became the guidelines that generations of ad agency men and women followed for years.
Later, as general brand advertising became more prominent, his direct selling methods took a backseat to “image” advertising. This is the type of advertising we see most on mass media.
Still, his golden rules still apply for direct response and internet advertising today. Most advertisers cannot afford the millions of dollars of advertising it would take to make any headway in brand advertising. Unless you have a bottomless bank account, you are better off using direct response techniques to maximize sales in a methodical manner.
To give you a flavor of his thinking and methods, here is Chapter 1 of Scientific Advertising.