The Myth of Mass Marketing

Broadcast Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008

It was ad giant Fairfax Cone who said "there is no such thing as a Mass Mind. The Mass Audience is made up of individuals, and good advertising is written always from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone." "Mass Marketing" allows advertisers to reach millions of consumers at once- but at a cost. The greater the audience, the 'cooler', more distant, and less personal the relationship between marketer and consumer becomes. Terry examines the power of the sort of one-on-one selling that turned the "Fuller Brush" company from a $75 investment to a multi-million dollar empire, and he'll show creative ways advertisers find to relate to a "mass" audience, one person at a time.

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)

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Previous Comments (8)

great information; very entertaining style

Al Maxwell, May 17, 2008 12:43 PM

A quick thought about the Geico ads you mentioned.
The use of celebrities, who are almost always incomprehensible, to 'interpret' plain speaking customers also seems to be a none too subtle jab at the swarm of ads using celebrities simply because of who they are. These faces usually bring nothing to the message but their recognition factor.
Another series of ads which play with this idea, from the way the message is played at least, are the ones using Bill Shatner for "All Bran."

John Brennand, May 17, 2008 4:15 PM

Mr. O'Reilly,

Your program is certainly one of the very best on CBC, if not, the best.

Now, how about distributing your words of wisdom and great entertainment by podcast?

Michael McMillan

Michael McMillan, May 18, 2008 8:23 PM

Hi Mr. Tennant,

Just adding the steady stream of emails requesting a podcast of AOP. I read the "update" page, no need to reply.


Jamie Tooze, May 21, 2008 9:53 AM

I remember how the Fuller brush man would come to our door in Southern BC in the early 70's. I also remember the quality of the brushes, and how my mother appreciated the personal service. I am surprised that you didn't make a passing reference to Electrolux vacuum cleaner salesmen, or the folks that sold Britannica encyclopedias. Guess you can't include everything. I enjoy your program. Though I work all night shifts, I am thankful that you include your program on this website. I've listened to CBC since I was a teenager, and it wasn't cool to listen to CBC. Now, at 44, I can still enjoy provocative shows like yours. Thanks.

Les Blumhagen, May 26, 2008 4:03 AM

I believe it was this episode that mentioned the Starbucks formula of selling custom products to individuals. It should be noted that this can backfire. Starbucks wants me to learn it's language which I can't use anywhere else. As a busy consumer, I don't have time to figure out their rules of the game - and I haven't had much luck ordering in English. Granted "medium" can be subject to interpretation, but try ordering in ounces or ml - you typically get a blank stare. I love great coffee, am willing to pay for it - but don't make me work for it!

Great show Terry, keep it up.

Heather, May 28, 2008 1:24 PM

Truly amazing series. Each program should be required listening in every business school in the country. I caught my first program in the car on CBC radio and I have been hooked ever since.

Despite the knowledge that engaging me one on one is the key to advertising success, it is truly amazing that, after all the money spent, how few succeed in bridging the gap.

Keep up the great work.

Paul, June 25, 2008 11:10 PM

I absolutely love your jabs at the impersonal phone queues. Sick of being on hold, we recently e-mailed our phone service provider and received the following response (abridged):

"Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of online customer service.We apologize for the delay in responding to your email. We are currently receiving higher email volume than normal, and are attempting to answer all email as quickly as possible in the order they arrive.

You have reached the Online Management Support Team via email. We apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.

You are a Valued Customer and we appreciate your business.

For future email correspondence with respect to this e-mail, please quote your reference number."

As Microsoft Sam would say LOLOLOL :)

AngieV, February 25, 2009 12:35 AM
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