I am delighted to say that this is an intelligent, fast-paced, intriguing, bold as shiny brass and heartfelt book about the Toronto and Canadian advertising business. Rick comes across as funny, gregarious, resourceful and about as full of energy as they get.
The book provides some interesting history about Rick Padulo and his family and how he got into the advertising business, before Padulo Integrated was formed. But at the heart of this autobiography are Rick's Nine Commandments of advertising, his great personal axioms and an inside look at three of the most successful ad campaigns (all Rick's) in Canadian history: Zeller's the Lowest price is the Law; Leon's Don't Pay a Cent Event and Black's Is Photography.
His Nine Commandments range from "Thou shalt make the usual unusual and the unusual usual" to "Thou shalt make the store the brand". He also has a rather curious commandment, "Thou shalt be non-competitive" which sounds like heresy in the ad world. Rick explains that Padulo Inc. by doing its own thing, coming up with something original and not trying to compete toe-to-toe with other marketers and promotors, ends up ahead of the rest through ingenuity.
The author's maxims are funny yet so completely applicable that they work instantly. For example, he says, "I'm looking for eagles that can fly in formation." Or how about, "The greater the adverisity, the greater the upside." Snappy, catchy, readily understood and immediately effective, these are the truisms that Rick has developed to meet the challenges of the fast-paced ad world.
The case studies for the big ad campaigns mentioned above are absorbing because Rick reveals some of his human touch and emotion that went into them. We find out about the various players and how the campaigns rolled out and why they are the enduring flagship slogans for these Canadian businesses.
So, grab a cold beer, a glass of fine wine or a cappuccino and sit down for a good, rewarding and exciting read. Advertising in Toronto and Canada had never been made more arresting or transparent.