Age of Persuasion
How Marketing Ate Our Culture

A lot of great material ends up on the cutting room floor when you only have 27 minutes and 30 seconds in a radio show.

Thankfully, Knopf Books called and asked if we were interested in writing a book.

We said “YES!” And then apologized for screaming.

That’s how the best-selling The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture was born. If you like the radio show, we think you’ll really like the book.







Published in Canada and the U.S., it’s a deeper exploration of Madison Avenue, and a fun and interesting ride through advertising history. It traces the humble beginnings of 20th century marketing, the powerful lessons learned, the landmark campaigns, the people behind them, the evolving art of persuasion and how it all intersects with today’s new marketing world.

But of course, we would say that. Here’s what other people had to say:





"On fire with ideas, bursting with insights, this wildly entertaining insiders’ history of persuasion takes us from the dawn of the telegraph to the future of the Internet. It’s a riveting read, crammed with the very human stories of the anonymous alchemists who shape our lives and our world. Henry Ford once said, ‘Nothing happens until somebody sells something.’ There’s never been a better exploration of that premise."

Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (Creator of Apple’s famous “1984″ TV commercial)







"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




Available in stores built with bricks and ones built with clicks.






Buy it on Amazon.ca (Canada)

Buy it on Amazon.com (USA)

Buy it at Indigo