Sunday, May 30, 2010

BOOK: The Age of Persuasion by Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant

The Age of Persuasion by Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant, 324 pages
How Marketing Ate Our Culture

Nonfiction Five 2010

I've always been secretly fascinated with the field of marketing. Maybe I should have taken a course in university. I often stopped on the distance education channel that broadcast the marketing course. The advertising agency on thirtysomething looked like so much fun. And anytime I've heard the CBC Radio program The Age of Persuasion, hosted by the authors of this book, I've enjoyed it. Terry O'Reilly's distinctive voice and humorous story telling make for a show that is very compelling. There must be podcasts available for anyone interested at CBC Radio - or maybe not, but there is streaming available.

The Age of Persuasion gives a bit of a behind the scene look at the process, a bit of history of advertising during the 20th century, and the development of the advertising industry. Starting with print, then radio, then television and finally internet, plus all the spaces in between where advertising is present. My cynical side doesn't like the feeling that marketing is manipulation, and it is, but it gets out information that we need, and we always have the choice.

Stories of branding (a hot topic in the blogging world as well) Aunt Jemima or Betty Crocker, tales of the Youtube Revolution, the celebrity endorser (with an already out of date look at Tiger Woods) and lots of great stories. For a folksy, charming look at advertising - and it is all around us, bombarding all our senses, The Age of Persuasion is a great read. But don't let my little ad convince you. Do you trust me? Am I a credible source? You have to make up your own mind.

review book from Randomhouse Canada