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Season 3: "Sun Tzu and the Art of... Persuasion"

Broadcast Date: August 1, 2009

Original Broadcast Date: March 16 & 21, 2009

What does modern advertising and marketing have to do with a 25 hundred-year-old military theorist? Terry O'Reilly is so glad you asked. This week he examines the ancient bamboo scrolls of Sun Tzu- author of The Art of War, and shows how modern marketers- including an upstart vodka and a revolutionary hair colouring brand- have gleaned valuable lessons from Sun Tzu's writings.

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


Previous Comments (13)

Terry and the boys, you are a national treasure.

and the music is excellent, and then some

don't stop please..

russman, March 16, 2009 11:07 PM

This was a completely interesting and fascinating episode. I loved the part on Absolut Vodka. I often miss your show because of work but yesterday I was lucky enough to be near the radio and as usual, enjoyed it completely. Keep up the great work, your show makes me want to go into the advertising business.
Absolut Host!

Les Fabian, March 17, 2009 11:17 PM

"The Age Of Persuasion" is one of the best programs on the radio today.

It is very interesting. Keep up the great work!

Jay MacDonald, March 20, 2009 11:15 AM

Dear Terry

I enjoyed your program on Sun-tzu. As a fellow Canadian, I am pleased that you are promoting literacy on Chinese culture. If your understanding of the text is "non-existent" and you need some help with it sometime, please contact me.


Roger T. Ames
University of Hawai'i

roger t, ames, March 21, 2009 4:42 AM

Most interesting and fascinating.
I remember well the first Absolut campaigns and how effective they were but I was not aware of the "researchers" recommendations and the fact the brand manager disregarded their advise. It underlines a point I have been making for years that marketing is an art, not a science and if you don't have a "gut feeling" for your market, your product, stay out of it.
Thank you for a great program.
A. Brosseau

A. Brosseau, March 22, 2009 10:56 AM

Original broadcast was in 2009, was it not?

Cael Husband, March 24, 2009 3:22 PM

Thanks so much for these programs, they're GREAT!

Alex, March 25, 2009 1:50 PM

Dear Terry,

Your program is wonderful and there isn't really anything more stupendous than I can add which hasn't already been said by your quickly growing fan base.

Ode to Credit-Girl

There is just one thing I wanted to ask for: the return of Credit-Girl, Linda I believe her name was.

It seems to be a bit ironic that a show with so much insight into marketing would miss then.

But then again maybe it's not so odd. Everyday we all miss the things that are right under our nose.

No offense to new guy but I think her return is an important piece to the show.

See, your program is very thought-provoking. By the time you've ended with the words "Age of Persuasion", many listeners welcome a break in the form of comic relief brought by what could otherwise be simply droll credits.

New-Guy is trying his best with content, but his character is stuck in form of a 1950's pitch man. Personally the whole television scene from that era is repugnant because of the seeming naivete and the times they make amateur attempts to be something other than "Shirley Temple" happy.

So his wording changes but he doesn't. You can chop up broccoli and put it in chocolate cake, but in the end your lasting impression is the taste of broccoli.

On the other Credit-Girl was by her very nature a woman. Women generally practice - and are therefore usually more experienced at - a much broader range of emotional expression. So her "arsenal" for creativity is larger to begin with.

I should also mention that she had the advantage of not being relegated to one decade. Not only does that fact further expand the range of fun possibilities, but it allows her to bridge the gap between your contemporary audience and the specific content of that particular show.

Please bring Linda back. And if there are larger issues at stake, please find another Credit-Girl, a good female actress or wordsmith who loves the job to take her place.

my vote, drew

Drew, March 26, 2009 11:25 AM


I on the other hand had made-up a story where "Credit Girl" got some yummy tempting offer elsewhere in her life... though I too miss her. No offence to "New-Guy".

So Terry... how much do Pirates obey the military codes??

Valerie Pinard-Jain, March 28, 2009 2:47 PM

I want podcasts!!! I love this show and miss it because of work. Why are they only streamed? We can listen and watch JG on Q but I can't get a podcast of AOP?? I wait with bated breath... :o(

Dania, March 31, 2009 8:49 PM

Um great show but what's with all the repeats?

Is it a summer thing?

Beta Max, August 7, 2009 3:26 PM

One of the most interesting and thought provoking radio shows on the air. Thanks....BUT WE NEED A PODCAST. I want to listen to this on my way to and from work, not to mention play catch up with a few older episodes.


Mike MacDonald, August 12, 2009 4:00 PM

amazing. i've never seen anything that makes the add agencey look for like an art agency! also, you guys are hilarious, more so than actual comedy shows! keep 'em comin' terry, this fourteen-year-old loves it!!
Grant :)

grant andrews, January 31, 2010 2:25 PM
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