Under The Influencewith Terry O'Reilly

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Why it's hard to find a Burger King in Australia

Companies often change valuable brand names when expanding to other countries. Sometimes the reason is a language issue. But other times, the reasons are far more interesting.

This was the first classified ad ever published in North America

It may have been the 1700s, but the early days of the classified ads were surprisingly relatable.

Why the mayor of Albuquerque didn't like Breaking Bad

The Emmy Award-winning television series Breaking Bad put Albuquerque on the map. But for less-than-desirable reasons.

Nirvana's Nevermind cover almost looked completely different

Before coming up with the dangling dollar bill, the grunge band had a few other ideas.

This band grounded flights at Heathrow in the name of album art

Some rock 'n' roll groups will go to great heights for an eye-catching record jacket.

How the Raptors turned hockey country into basketball nation

Sports teams can’t always count on winning games. That means marketing becomes the other player on the roster. A lesson the Toronto Raptors took straight to the bank.

How this brand has outsold Coke in Scotland for over a century

Sometimes, small brands manage to outsmart their giant counterparts. And this tiny soda brand has done it for over a century. Goliath, meet David.

The Sopranos gave 200 fans their own mob nicknames

When the 20th anniversary of the Sopranos rolled around in 2019, HBO wanted to entice people to watch the series again and celebrate the milestone. And their free strategy earned them 300 media impressions.

Under The Influence Returns January 2

We're within earshot of our 2020 season. Under the Influence returns to the airwaves January 2 at our usual times - Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:30am on CBC Radio One. The podcast drops every Thursday morning. See you soon.

Why some companies negatively advertise their own products

From Volkswagen to Nestea, bold brands approach advertising with a little self-deprecating humour.

The unexpected reason this car commercial was banned

This Mustang commercial was banned for unsafe driving when the car in question never exceeded 24 km/h.

The hidden message at the end of The Big Bang Theory

Show creator Chuck Lorre's hidden nuggets at the end of each episode came to a fitting close after the series finale.

This TV episode is considered the greatest of all time

One episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show was considered to be so morbid that a brand new director had to be brought in to handle it tastefully. And boy did it pay off.

How this Canadian-born paper company thrives in a paperless era

Hilroy’s primary-coloured exercise books have been a staple in Canadian classrooms for the better part of a century. But forging an iconic brand doesn't happen overnight.

Why this major brand's name was called "dyslexic cheekiness."

The use of profanity in marketing has resulted in an upsurge in Vulgar Trademarks. Four-letter words aren’t just sought out by small, feisty companies looking for attention anymore, but by some of the largest advertisers in the world. Is it obscene, or is it free speech?

Why realtors use photos of themselves as marketing

Most agents will tell you it's all about branding. If potential buyers and sellers see your face often enough in the neighbourhood, they assume you're successful and give you a call. But there is another theory. And it circles back to the early days of the real estate business.

How a piece of paper flapping on a billboard influenced an ad campaign for nuns

The unusual Toronto advertisement that inspired Terry O'Reilly to break all the rules.

These major celebrities run unexpected side businesses

While there are many celebrities who lend their names to products, there is a small group of celebs who own companies and do serious business. From general stores to cannabis lines, a few of them may surprise you.

How a deck of cards earns one restaurant lineups out the door

Most businesses hope good products and excellent service are enough to encourage positive recommendations. But the smartest companies actually have strategies to ignite word-of-mouth chatter. It’s the oldest form of advertising, but it’s the most effective by far.

How one Alberta town attracts both human and non-human visitors

Some small towns find themselves in the middle of nowhere - or are situated off the main highways - and have a difficult time attracting tourists. That’s when they turn to marketing to create landmarks are often quirky, sometimes bizarre and completely unexpected.

This brand mascot is the most recognized but least liked on TV

Some brands use disgustingly effective advertising mascots to talk about delicate subjects on television. Fun characters that personify bodily functions the way human actors never could. But one in particular stands out from the pack.

How the McDonald's founders profited more by promising less

Sometimes inventors eliminate a feature of their inventions to create a brand new product. And often, that brand new product takes on a whole new purpose.

This divorce firm's YouTube campaign earned 90M impressions

The legal industry in North America will spend north of $1B on advertising this year. And as a result, some law firm advertising is good, some of it bad, but a handful of it highly creative.

How South Africa used soccer to help end domestic violence

The innovative ways marketers are using audio to send powerful messages around the world.

The unexpected reason the Geico Gecko was born

The insurance industry's marketing has been totally disrupted since the millennium. And it all started with a lizard.