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Review: “The Age of Persuasion”

/ September 1, 2012 / www.millierdickinsonblais.com

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Some of you may have heard CBC Radio One’s outstanding series “The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture”, 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.

The Age of PersuasionKnopf 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 investment.

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