39 thoughts on “Life lessons from an ad man | Rory Sutherland”

  1. Agree with a lot of the stuff he said. But all value is perceived value is bullshit.

    There are things that have actual value. Food, water, oxygen without those you're fucked.

  2. A perfect example of how marketing can get people to buy the same product is played out all the time with breakfast cereals. When I was a kid, most of the corn based cereals (Trix, Cocoa puffs, Kix, etc) came all in the same round shape and a set color. But after some lagging sales, most of these cereals changed the shape or color of the cereal. Trix is the most obvious as they changed from the round shape to the shape of fruits. An obvious gimmick, but it caused the sales of those cereals to rise. After about a decade of this, sales started to lag again. What did the companies do? They just reverted all the cereals back to the original bland spheres, but then called it "New Trix". And sales went up. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, they repeat the cycle again.

    While this seems like a copout, it is actually brilliant marketing. And Sutherland is right, we should be doing things like this. Because our culture is getting swept up into sensationalism, where we only look forward and completely give up on anything from the past. This way of thinking will just hurt sales in the long run since it creates smaller and smaller windows for a product to be popular. Something that comes out today will get replaced less than a year later. Or even a month later. That disgusting pink drink you got from Starbucks will become obsolete tomorrow when McDonalds comes out with a green drink that tastes horrible, but you gotta have it because it's "new".

    Eventually, this constant change will fall back in on itself. Companies won't be able to afford their ballooning R&D budgets and people will become desensitized to change. We're already seeing it happen with smartphones and movies. But what's old is new again. And some smart businessman is going to see a lull in the market and reintroduce a fad from the 1920s, which everyone will be tricked into thinking it's new and buy it up.

  3. Advertising and manufacturing are often considered separate yet nothing could be further from the truth. Advertising is greatly centered upon manufacturing perceptions of value; and any manufacturing must be successfully advertised in order for awareness and acceptability of the product. The paradox of advertising also makes it that people have great power to choose whether to accept an advertisement or reject it in a free market-based society. Yet advertising can be more powerful than even coercion.

  4. There isn’t really much to take away from this presentation. He doesn’t really develop any argument throughout. He should have gone to do a stand-up gig in the Apollo instead. The title of the presentation should have been life lessons from a con man because that’s what he really is – a con. He couldn’t help but flaunt his Oxford’s knowledge of history. Really, why bother having a presentation in TED just to show off one’s wealth and prestige by citing anecdotal examples and basic coursebook knowledge? How accurate his examples were? Prostitutes, supermodels, placebo effects. How about Coca-Cola? Such “a remarkable achievement”, such democracy. No, you clown, it’s capitalism and corporatism, not democracy. Shreddies example is outdated as well because it referred to the “old days” where, according to Mr. Sutherland, a pathetically grateful public believes anything that’s broadcasted over monopolized television networks. Anyways, just another flamboyant Elvis, we’ve seen plenty of these jokers around.

  5. British humor is usually regarded with suspicion by Americans, who have trouble distinguishing irony from sarcasm, have no patience with subtlety or word play, and generally take everything too literally.

    This guy's thoroughly British humor wins over a tough crowd. It's easy to see how he has been successful in advertising. Because charm.

  6. Brilliant, I will have to watch this a few times and make notes, there are so many wonderful ideas in this presentation that I will somehow adapt for my own online project.
    Thank you very much Rory.
    Johnnie Lawson

  7. Told to guard the potatoes,but secretly told to not do it very well. Made me laugh out loud. #howispendmysaturdaynight  

  8. Hi Millie! I am a huge fan of your dad, and was wondering if he would share his awesomeness at my B-school! Could you help? Thanks!

  9. My obese brother was able to make the most beautiful pole dancer there is in my town fall for him as he used the Cupid Love System (search in Google). It’s bad but I wish I became happy for him but I want such a beautiful lady to fall in love with me. I am extremely envious. Does that mean I’m a terrible human being?

  10. Okay. I'm displeased. My brother resides in the next room. I'm pissed because he recently grew great at picking up the women. He found the Master Attraction web page (Start looking in Google) by Jake Ayres. Now I hear him bringing ladies back. He's continuously pulling girls back. I hear it. It's disgusting. If only he never found that site. I'm envious!

  11. He would be the worst dad ever, you would try and talk him into buying you or letting you do something, and you would walk away after the conversation completely convinced tat you need to do what ever he just talked you into doing, and you would be happy about it.

  12. We have the same driving demerit point system in Australia – I can't vouch for it's effectiveness but I'd like to think that risk aversion is a strong motivator.

  13. BINGO mad angles, got inspired by this or these people got inspired by BINGO mad angles!
    either ways, its a copy of something, and by the way, i would buy Diamond Shreddies, NOT bingo!! BINGO ads sucks, shreddies have a great ad!!!:D thats one hell of a serious comedy there!

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