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The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture [Hardcover]

Terry O'Reilly , Mike Tennant
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 27 2009 0307397319 978-0307397317
The ad men behind CBC Radio’s The Age of Persuasion combine lively social history and years of industry experience to show how the art of persuasion shapes our culture.

Witty, erudite and irrepressibly irreverent, The Age of Persuasion provides a hugely entertaining — and eye-opening — insider’s look at the ever-expanding world of marketing.

The Age of Persuasion is for those who say “advertising doesn’t work on me” as well as those who want to understand how this industry has become inseparable from modern culture. Using their popular CBC Radio series as a starting point, Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant tell the fascinating story of how modern marketing came of age — from the early players to the Mad Men of the 1960s and beyond. With insider anecdotes and examples drawn from pop culture, they also probe deeply into the day-to-day workings and ethics of a business that is rapidly evolving in the age of Facebook and YouTube.

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Review

"A terrific look into how advertising, marketing, and culture are all inexorably intertwined. A great read for anyone interested in branding . . . a must read for any student of advertising."
— Rick Boyko, Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, Ex-Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy North America

"If there’s one brand that advertising has failed miserably at making people understand, it’s advertising itself. This book goes a long way in correcting that, now if they could only do the same for car dealers."
— Bob Kuperman, former President and Chief Executive, DDB Worldwide, New York division

"Language is art. Advertising is art. Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant really deliver on that in this book. The Age of Persuasion made me stop, think, and realize that everything we do as marketers (day in and day out) can matter . . . and should be better. Because, in the end, advertising is not just about persuasion. It’s about the stories we tell and how they connect with real people and what those real people do with those stories. The Age of Persuasion is one of those great stories."
— Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image and author of Six Pixels of Separation

"I loved this book. I thought I had a pretty good idea of everything that’s happened in the history of American advertising, but I didn’t. I do now. The book is thorough without being heavy-handed, fun without being flippant, full of fascinating facts that fill in some voids that needed to be filled in. The only thing that might make it better would have been to include a few more quotes from me. Keep it by your bed."
— Bob Levenson, Chairman and International Creative Director, DDB International; Vice Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and Scali McCabe Sloves, New York

"Just when I thought I heard all of the cool stories about the grand old world of advertising, Terry and Mike have created an intriguing read that will fascinate both everyday people absorbed with the ad game as well as dyed-in-the-wool ‘mad men’ and women."
— Ignacio Oreamuno, President, IHAVEANIDEA and Portfolio Night

"The Age of Persuasion provides a wonderful romp through the history and inner workings of advertising. I am not sure what I enjoyed more, the insight and wisdom about the ad business or the wit and charm of the storytelling; either way it’s a great read for all of us living in The Age of Persuasion."
— Doug Checkeris, CEO, North America MediaCom

"Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant blend history, stories, wisdom, hundreds of facts, and just plain fun into an original, compelling, entertaining, and insightful perspective on the impact of creative communication on our culture and on our everyday lives. It is a terrific book!"
— Bob Schmetterer, Chairman and CEO (Retired), Euro RSCG Worldwide

"The Age of Persuasion must be read by anyone in the business of marketing goods and services, creating or placing advertising and those who aspire to such noble things. This book is a fun read and a wonderful combination of historical and contemporary context."
— John P. Hayes, Jr., CEO, Third Avenue Media

“Appealing and informative, this ragbag of pop culture references, jokes, anecdotes, solid research, and advice will be indispensable to marketers or anyone curious about the power and ubiquity of advertising in modern culture.”
— Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Terry O’Reilly is the award-winning co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television in Toronto and New York. Together with Mike Tennant he created the CBC Radio series O’Reilly on Advertising and The Age of Persuasion.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much like the radio show but too long! Jan. 25 2010
Format:Hardcover
If you ever listened to their weekly radio show on CBC and became a fan of their insights of how advertising works, then you will like the book. Same style with a little more depth. My only complaint is that the book is about 70 pages too long. After a while they are beating a dead horse. In spite of this, I still liked the book and would recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Art Form Feb. 14 2011
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The authors quote fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan, "Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century." And though it is one built on persuasion, it is also its very pervasiveness that commands attention and deserving of ongoing study. O'Reilly and Tennant write, "We live in an age of persuasion, where people's want, wishes, whims, pleas, brands, offers, enticements, truths, petitions, and propaganda swirl in a ceaseless, growing multimedia firestorm of sales messages."

The book stems from their work in advertising and their fascination with its practice. It truly began with a 25 part radio series on the CBC, O'Reilly on Advertising, which started in 1995. The gentlemen now have a popular and valuable radio program named The Age of Persuasion which I follow faithfully. But why is advertising so important and why should we care? Well consider this - "Statistics suggest that people spend more time exposed to advertising than they spend eating, reading, cooking, praying, cleaning, and making love combined." Clearly, the two authors are fascinated with the subject.

Their book is a fun, fast and informative read. It, at the same time, honors the profession and practice while communicating a wariness for its power and influence. The contents include interesting histories, specific forms of advertising, consumer behavior along with cool quotes, definitions and short story sidebars.

I must confess, I have a vested interest in the profession as Chief Communications Officer of DDB Worldwide. And I too carry a healthy skepticism of many aspects of branding, marketing and advertising. It comes with a great responsibility to ensure honesty and authenticity, respect for the consumer, and quality of execution. All of which is a worthy challenge.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz Nov. 22 2009
Format:Hardcover
I loved this book. It is definitely required reading for all Marketing, Advertising, PR and Communication Students and I predict it will become the textbook (if their professors know what's what!) While Marketing professionals may know some of the stories and the backdrop in the book, most of us regular Canadians will be fascinating by pulling back the curtain. Written in a refreshing and humourous style, the book also gives a serious study to some of the most interesting trends of the last 100 years. I especially like how history is given its proper place beside modern media and current creative campaigns. This is a book you'll want to read when you want to swept away - by reality. It's also one you can leave in the bathroom for times when you just want a chapter or a page or two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full Course Meal Nov. 28 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not only well and cleverly written, it is the perfect companion to the radio show/podcasts. There isn't any greater authority and storyteller on the subject than Terry O'Reilly
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