The Age of Persuasion

How Marketing Ate Our Culture

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.

Reviews

“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