Full disclosure: I am not in modern advertising in any way professionally. I do spend a lot of time in the arena of creativity-for-money.
In the knitting world, E. Zimmerman taught me to calculate the value of a book of knitting patterns by the cost of the book divided by the number of patterns I would actually knit. Applying that math to The Creative Process, Illustrated yields 35 pages of fabulous information, and 35 interesting portraits. At the cover price, that works out to somewhat less than $0.71 per useful-to-me page. I think it’s a pretty good value, and of course, you can get the book for less than the MSRP.
Unfortunately, some of the illustrations are reproduced at a size that’s too small for my old eyes to read comfortably. Perhaps that’s ok. They’re not really intended to be read, exactly, as much as “looked at.”
Maybe if I were an advertising professional, I would have found the text–both intro, about the process of teaching advertising students, middle–about the contributors (feels like RFP bio material), and end–different slices through the creative process as presented by the contributors–more engaging. As it is, I bought the book for the illustrations, and secondarily for the portraits. Skimmed the text to find it not very helpful, and likely won’t look at it again. Would have loved more illustrations, printed on a bigger spread.
In many other creative fields, ideas are easy, and implementation / execution is the hard part. It would appear that in professional advertising, it’s the “generating ideas on demand” part that’s harder, or at least, more mysterious. While there are one or two specific approaches I may try out for myself, most of the value for me is in reinforcement of the huge amount of mystery behind good ideas. It is possible to fertilize and care for the field, certainly–but the eventual harvest is almost always a surprise.