The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant

The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture

Some of you may have heard CBC Radio One’s outstanding series The Age of Persuasion, now in its fourth season on the air.  An irreverent mix of advertising history, insider gossip and marketing know-how, the program showcases advertising executive Terry O’Reilly and his views on what works and what doesn’t in 21st Century advertising. Knopf Canada has just published a standalone book that attempts to replicate the success of the radio show in print form, with generally solid results. O’Reilly and his broadcast producer Mike Tennant provide readers with a fast, fun and fascinating look at the history of marketing and advertising in North America, with a lot of insights into what works and what doesn’t. Overall, there may be nothing here that you can’t find somewhere else – but for an economic developer trying to get a handle on the state of advertising today, it’s an outstanding way to get the creative energies flowing. The only drawback?

In Chapter 8, the authors suggest “It’s a rookie mistake among marketers to try to ‘convert’ a detailed print ad to radio…” True, but the reverse may also be true: a great radio show translates into a book that is merely good. For the radio originals, download the podcasts here. Of course, for those of without spare listening hours, the book is a great tool…and certainly worth the $22 investment. You can buy The Age of Persuasion here.