The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate our Culture

Thinking of advertising and marketing industry today you realize that it has come a long and far way from where it began. Authors Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant give a comprehensive history of how advertising started, where it’s been, and what it has evolved to currently. Previous to becoming the author of this book O’Reilly had a radio series, “O’Reilly on Advertising”. His follow up to this was the “Age of Persuasion” where he looking into the ways marketing and advertising have affected everyday life. This book serves as a way for him and his partner author to expand on topics they discussed in their radio show.

The authors have touched on many topics through the book in relation to the overall growth of the industry. From Ad clutter, the evolution of advertisements, celebrity influence on marketing, all of the topics are based from experiences that the authors have had from working in the industry or stories they’ve heard from colleagues and friends. Terry O’Reilly had a successful career as a copywriter for several big name agencies (Campbell-Ewald, DDB, and Chiat/Day) which gave the book extra depth when he could bring “behind-the-scenes” type narratives to the concepts he wrote about.

Overall I think the book did a good job explaining the place marketing and advertising has in our society, for myself it was a bit repetitive. I think the book would be more informative for people not in the advertising industry.  The book covers a lot of the basics of advertising and gives a lot of background history. The last few chapters I think were the most enjoyable, because this is where the authors wrote about how it’s in the hands of today’s advertisers to move the industry into the next stage.

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