The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture

age-of-persuassion-how-marketing-ate-our-cultureOne of my favorite radio shows has been turned into a book. The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture is now available in book stores across Canada!

Authors Mike Tennant and Terry O’Reilly have known each other for about 20 years; they began their career together making radio shows in 1995 with O’Reilly on Advertising. They’ve followed that up with “The Age of Persuasion” and a book based on that show which hits bookstores today.

Last Tuesday I took advantage of an opportunity to talk on the phone with Terry and Mike about the show and their new book “The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture”. My questions are in bold text.

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ShamWow Guy in Prison

Vince Shlomi, the phenomenally successful television pitchman for products like the ShamWow and Slap Chop, was arrested at a swank Miami hotel last March after a violent confrontation with a prostitute.

From The Smoking Gun:

MARCH 27 – Meet Vince Shlomi. He’s probably better known to you as the ShamWow Guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. Shlomi, 44, was arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his South Beach hotel room. According to an arrest affidavit, Shlomi met Sasha Harris, 26, at a Miami Beach nightclub on February 7 and subsequently retired with her to his $750 room at the lavish Setai hotel. Shlomi told cops he paid Harris about $1000 in cash after she "propositioned him for straight sex." Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly "bit his tongue and would not let go." Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue.

For those of you that are not familiar with Vince:


[Vince with Slap Chop – YouTube]

Here he is peddling the ShamWow:


[ShamWow – YouTube]

I’ve saved the best for last. Guess what he’s doing now that he’s in prison?


[Shamwow Guy in Prison – CollegeHumor]

Tab Cola Commercial

Here’s another one of those Tab Cola commercials from the 70’s early 80’s (previously). Same premise:

  1. hot bikini girl walks on the beach
  2. a man wants to drink Tab Cola
  3. girlfriend pours ice water on the man
  4. the man laughs because he realizes his girlfriend thought he was attracted to the bikini girl and wasn’t just craving a nice cool drink of Tab Cola
  5. Then everything is ok

Genius!

Hit play or watch Tab Cola at YouTube.

Oil Sands Tourism

Greenpeace has launched a tongue-in-cheek website touting the tourism potential of the Alberta oil sands. The Greenpeace-produced site, travellingalberta.com, has an address similar to Alberta’s official tourism page, travelalberta.com, and is the conservation group’s response to the province’s $25-million campaign to improve the environmental image of Alberta’s energy industry.


[Explore Alberta – YouTube]

Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady was not impressed with the website.

“I’m a bit disappointed mostly on behalf of those who work so hard in this industry, but I also would say it’s not an accurate representation of this province.”

O’Reilly and the Age of Persuasion

Terry O'Reilly and the Age of PersuasionIn his radio show, O’Reilly and the Age of Persuasion, Terry O’Reilly explores the countless ways marketers permeate your life—from art, media, and language, to politics, religion, and fashion—and he does it in a way that makes you crave episode after episode. You’ll never think about advertising the same way again.

I highly recommend you subscribe to the unofficial O’Reilly and the Age of Persuasion podcast.

Update: Check out my interview with Terry and Mike.

Viral Marketing

I don’t usually like to send on viral marketing links, it feels like I’m doing someone else’s job for them, but I liked the creativity used in this online store (not sure what language it’s written in). I think they actually sell everything you see. Here’s the link, and just to warn you, there is a bit of audio.

(via)

Auction Ads

Last week I received an email touting the great benefits of a new kind of web advertising for eBay auctions, called “Auction Ads”. The email stated that just for signing up I’d get a bonus of $5 put into my account within two business days. Well four days passed with nothing, so I emailed them. They responded by saying it takes a week for the money to show up on my account. It has now been about a week and two days. I’ve given them over 24,000 ad views and they’ve given me nothing.

My account on Auction Ads

My advice: don’t waste your time with auction ads.