Under The Influence with Terry O'Reilly

Latest

How many French fries did the boy in the 1987 McCain ad really have to eat?

It’s remarkable how well-remembered that commercial still is to this day, considering it's 35 years old. The story behind it may surprise you.

Burger King found a way to offer Whoppers at McDonald's

McDonald’s is the 800-pound gorilla in the fast-food category, and Burger King is particularly ingenious when it comes to sniping at McDonald’s.

This 1960s toy brand set a record year for sales in 2018

Hot Wheels is one of the best-selling toys in the world. Over six billion have sold since the company was founded over 50 years ago. And even in today's digital age, the brand manages to reach new heights.

How a waffle iron inspired the Nike shoe

Ever notice the grid-like pattern on the outer soles of running shoes? Turns out, there's a very interesting story behind it, and it all began with waffles.

This burger chain showed mouldy food in its advertising

The campaign broke all the cardinal rules of advertising. But for one fast food company, it paid off.

Why plain old vanilla is the world's favourite ice cream flavour

The term “vanilla” is synonymous with boring, dull or bland. Yet a scoop of vanilla is the number one choice across the globe.

Inmates in a Brazil prison shorten their sentences by writing book reviews

Those reviews turned out to be remarkable and insightful. So much so, they were turned into an advertising campaign.

Walt Disney was told Snow White would be a costly mistake

In the 1930s, the Disney studio was the leader in animated short films, but had never attempted a full-length film. So when Disney came up with the 80-minute Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hollywood was skeptical.

How American troops used inflatable tanks to fool the Nazis in WWII

There were 1,100 people in the American army's top secret division, but they weren’t soldiers. They were artists, sound engineers and set designers, and their mission was deception.

How the Lamborghini supercar began with a tractor and an insult

The Lamborghini is one of the world’s most famous supercars, born of Italian craftsmanship and a love of speed. But the true origin of the supercar may surprise you.

Times Square used to go by a very different name

What's in a name? Like Hershey, Pennsylvania or Port Sunlight in England, Times Square is named after a company. But it had a long history beforehand.

One New York hotel manager discovered a 450-pound lion roaming a suite

Lions and waiters and police officers - oh my! The Hollywood PR stunt that pioneered the motion picture publicity spectacle.

How Stephen King dealt with the horror of not being recognized

An American Express advertising campaign featured celebrities whose names were well-known, but their faces weren't. Its slogan would be considered among the best of the 20th century.

How "loose lips sink ships" was updated for modern war times

The World War II-born phrase was modernized in 2018 to reflect advances in technology and social media.

Why a tornado prompted Best Buy to change its original name

There are many different reasons successful companies change their names. Sometimes it’s because the old name has too much negative baggage, sometimes it’s to boost a stock price, sometimes it's for legal reasons and sometimes a name changes because of a tornado.

John F. Kennedy was given last rites 5 different times

Only one of those times followed the 35th U.S. president's 1963 assassination.

Painting, music and sculpture used to be Olympic competitions

There was once a time when art was a category at the Olympic Games, but in 1949, the category was removed.

An unexpected brand makes the Super Bowl trophy every year

The Vince Lombardi Trophy weighs seven pounds and costs about $50,000. The coveted prize is made entirely of sterling silver by a famed jewellery company.

These famous Canadian ad slogans all came from one Canadian ad agency

If you've ever thought Swiss Chalet was always so good for so little, you may recognize these other long-running Canadian ad slogans by agency Goodis, Goldberg, Soren.

This dating app aims to be deleted

Find love and dump the app. One popular dating service boasts an unusual marketing angle.

The earliest-known Elvis signature was found in this unexpected place

Only as recently as 2012 was the first-known autograph of The King discovered, and it was long overdue.

This 2021 holiday ad received thousands of complaints

UK supermarket Tesco ran a Christmas commercial. It brought in the second-highest number of advertising complaints in UK history. The reason may surprise you.

The bottle cap snafu that nearly cost Pepsi $32 billion

What started as a fun way to increase the soft drink company's revenues ended in lawsuits, riots and national outrage.

The most-visited cemetery in the world

Cemetery tourism is becoming a fast-growing segment of the tourist industry. People plan their travel and vacations around the location of certain cemeteries. But one in particular draws the most visitors each year.

The percentage of Broadway shows that break even may surprise you

Every Broadway show is mounted with incredible risk and a staggering number of productions never earn back their initial investments.

now