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Age of Persuasion Blog: May 2009 Archives

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Q & A with Terry O'Reilly

This was first featured in the Radio One Newsletter. (To subscribe, become a CBC member)

Great Ad Ventures

Each week on The Age of Persuasion, host Terry O'Reilly journeys deep into marketers' minds.

This week, the advertising guru provides insight into his own life and career.


If you could interview anyone, who would it be?

Bill Bernbach, the greatest adman who ever lived (1911-1982.) Bernbach was so wise and so innovative. His agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, was The Beatles of advertising. I've lived by his words my entire career.

What's your favourite ad campaign?

That's easy; it's the famous campaign for Volkswagen done in the '60s. It was so smart, so witty, so honest and so groundbreaking. Created, of course, by Bill Bernbach. It's the gold standard in the ad industry to this day.

If you could pick anyone to write your biography, who would it be?

Steve Martin. His biography Born Standing Up was honest, insightful and hilarious. He has an eye for the ironies in life (which I relish) and I know I would laugh out loud reading what he would have to say about my career.

What do you usually talk about over dinner?

Above all, my family loves talking about the funny, odd, ironic things in life. Along with pop culture, what happened that day, my hairline, and my daughters always seem particularly interested in stories of my wife and I growing up.

What's your greatest passion?

Without question, my family. I spend every available minute with them that isn't being eaten up by work. Heaven for me.

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