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Season 3: "The Real Deal: Authenticity"

Broadcast Dates: August 29, 2009

The secret to Tiger Woods' success as a golfer is that he can make a golf ball soar, spin, curve- heck, he can make it deal cards if he wants to. But what's the secret to Tiger Woods as a brand? It's authenticity. This week Terry O'Reilly explains the importance of a brand living up to its promise- of actually being everything it says it is. Terry will even summon the courage to tell of his riveting childhood disillusionment after ordering a family of Sea Monkeys from a comic book.

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


Previous Comments (13)

OK, I heard that "Vidi Aquam" intro; it was just before you said "OK, not that long ago". Well, "Vidi Aquam" isn't that long ago, either! In fact, all over the world there are churches where the Vidi Aquam will be sung before every Sunday Mass from now until Pentecost! In 2009!


some guy on the street, April 27, 2009 12:02 PM

I'm a big fan of the show. As an ex-kozmo svp imagine my surprise/delight in hearing kozmo mentioned yesterday. The piece was great except for one essential flaw. Kozmo didn't shut down due to the LA delivery story or any related fallout related to the brand "inauthenticity". It failed because it was built on a faulty foundation. The business model wasn't viable and "first to market", VC greed and the internet sizzle took a back seat a sound fundamentals. What a shame to go through 1/4B$$, but more on that if anyone is interested.

Just to set the record straight re the LA issue. Kozmo was essentially a "last mile logistics" company built around density of internet penetration and online shopping. In every market we operated we had delineated delivery zones based on our ability to attract and aggregate enough online orders to achieve efficiency and deliver within our promised 60 minute window. It should come as no surprise that in 2000 home based internet and online shopping was still fairly new - and costly - and therefore existed in mid>upper income zip codes in far greater numbers than in mid>lower income ones. That is the reason we did not serve everywhere. Some folks in LA took the opportunity to make an issue that really didn't exist.

Thought I'd set the record straight.

Kozmonaut, April 28, 2009 1:05 PM

I found this episode brilliant. It is directly applicable to so many alternative health care providers that have spent too much time on branding and marketing a fabulous promise, but not enough time on ensuring that their members live up to that promise. Thanks!

Doug Lawson, April 29, 2009 6:38 PM

Age of Persuasion is one of the best business related information brodcasts anywhere.

carl idzinski, April 30, 2009 2:58 PM

Love this show! My husband and I cannot agree on a tv show but we do hunch over the radio or my laptop to listen to your program every Saturday.

Kudos to CBC for running it and for you Terry for your wonderful story lines littered with entertaining facts.

Without doubt, the shortest 1/2 hour on radio!

Sandra Swanson, May 2, 2009 6:19 PM

TO: "Age of Persuasion"

As a long-time CBC listener, I hear this program often, and it is clear to me that this program and its originator, Terry O'Reilly, have no moral compass.

The program's basic theme (persuasion) is merely a euphemism for duplicity. By failing to acknowledge the ethical emptiness of almost all advertising, the program creates a false image that advertising is an essential, acceptable part of our lives.

In reality, advertising is a form of prostitution. Perhaps it is a mild form of prostitution, but it is an abuse of our free enterprise system. Terry O'Reilly is really a pimp. I cannot state my negative opinion of this program and its narrator more clearly.

Canajun-eh, May 3, 2009 8:41 PM

Gee, Canajun-eh, how so very self-righteous of you to villify and slander Mr. O'Reilly and thousands of people who work in an industry that is an essential part of our economic system (it's called capitalism).

And how so very brave of you to assail Mr. O'Reilly (whom I have not met) in public under a nom de plume. Yes, sir or madam, that is one unerring moral compass.

In reality, sir or madame, you are a coward. I am signing off with my real name, Kim Dunn.

Privateer, May 4, 2009 3:40 PM

In response to Canajun-eh's comment: if you have such a negative opinion of this programme, I do not understand why you "often listen". It appears to me that you are unable to objectively engage its content without subsuming your personal biases.

The show does not purport that advertising is essential, or acceptable: it states that advertising exists, is part of our mainstream culture, and analyzes its techniques, effective or otherwise. I fail to see how it's intended to be an editorial with a value judgment attached: it's like opening a watch to see how the gears work. If you have a problem with watches, it's not the fault of the person showing you what's inside.

Were I to be, say, a writer/activist for Adbusters, I would think "The Age of Persuasion" would be an excellent primer as to how to reach people with a well-planned message that mass-market advertising is all of the things you claim. Therefore, for distributing such information, Mr. O'Reilly must also be guilty of being an anti-capitalist radical hell-bent on tearing down our way of life...as well as being a "pimp".

Canajun-eh, I take it from your fear that advertising abuses the free enterprise system, you are a staunch defender of the free market (decorum prevents me from referring to you as a "pimp" for said free market.) Perhaps you can suggest a higher standard for advertising that does not impinge on the vaunted high ethical standard you claim for your free market.

P.S. "The Age of Persuasion" is, in my opinion, the best new show on CBC Radio. And this is from the viewpoint of somebody who has been described as being "left of Gandhi". And I look forward to its return as a podcast (although I do understand that first there's a large mountain to climb regarding clearances.)

Brett, May 6, 2009 1:25 PM

In response to Kim Dunn: Sometimes the truth hurts. I do not comment often on CBC programs, but Mr. O'Reilly really plumbs the depths of hypocrisy with a program on "Authenticity." As an old saying goes, "Authenticity is essential, so once you learn how to fake that, you have a great future in advertising."

Canajun-eh, May 6, 2009 7:38 PM

In response to Canajun-eh:

The comments you've made concerning The Age of Persuasion and Mr. O'Reilly are of the kind that I have only heard coming from a state of ignorance.

Every time you or anyone else opens their mouth to give an opinion, it is advertising - whether it is negative or not. So if you want to condemn the industry, please don't forget to include yourself.

I understand your viewpoint. I hate commercials and therefore rarely listen to paid radio, watch TV, or read newspapers.

But you've made the mistake of hating prostitution so much that now suddenly all sex is bad -- and since Mr. O'Reilly teaches on the subject, that makes him a pimp.

He is a guide. Advertising and politics will be around as long as human beings are, come with the package. He is simply stepping back and analyzing what happens every day in that industry: what works & what doesn't, what does but shouldn't, how people work, and the whole socialogy/phychology of the situation.

If you've been hurt by advertising, stay indoors with the media turned off until you heal. But I should point out it's like trying to stay away from sunlight. I wish you luck in the venture.

Mr. O'Reilly's classes, on the other hand, are optional. If you don't like them, don't come - and for goodness sake stop heckling.


Drewster2000, June 19, 2009 5:34 PM

Like it or not, each of us engages in salesmanship every day. Advertising is selling to a larger than one audience an yet keeping it individual. It is (done correctly) a highly creative occupation staffed by very passionate people. Mr. O'Reilly is delightfully entertaining and highly educational. Thnak yu for a great program. Many seasons to you. From a fan south of the order.

doc reiss, September 13, 2009 6:27 AM

Perhaps the time has come to shelve this episode for good. Tiger Woods' authenticity just passed its expiry date and has started to rot.

Cynic, December 16, 2009 3:40 AM

Ho my. I heard your interview on Q, and like you am stunned re: the fall of Tiger from the heights he achieved in building his "Tiger" brand.

I would love to hear the thoughts of your friend Steve now that we've seen this other side of Tiger's lifestyle and personal persistent indiscretions off the course.

I bet, like us all, it's Steve's jaw which has hit the ground... not just the unsuspecting contestants about to play golf with Tiger.

Alas... the ever elusive authenticity, where for art thou?

Looking forward to season 4!!!

Doug Kenyon, January 3, 2010 12:06 PM
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