Under the Influence

Put It Between Your Knees and Squeeze: Marketing A Fad

Kicking off our 2018 season, we explore how some of the craziest fads are marketed. We'll look at how one student's school project changed the way we sleep, why a single toy made Tyco the subject of bomb threats and how a popular piece of jewellery was inspired...by doctors. From the Thighmaster to the Pet Rock, we'll break down what makes fads so absolutely irresistible. Hope you’ll join us.
(Thighmaster)

Under The Influence is back for our 13th year on the air. And we've got a fun and interesting lineup of shows planned for you...


To kick off our 2018 season, we explore how some of the craziest fads are marketed.

We'll look at how one student's school project changed the way we sleep, why a single toy made Tyco the subject of bomb threats and how a popular piece of jewellery was inspired...by doctors.

From the Thighmaster to the Pet Rock, we'll break down what makes fads so absolutely irresistible. 

Hope you'll join us.


A few fun tidbits from this week's episode...

This song was originally called...The Duck Dance:

Adman Gary Dahl made millions of dollars selling this fad that anybody could own...for free:

(Image Credit: The Pet Rock)

This coveted fad was inspired by thermotropic medical tape:

The first prototype of this invention made television sets...explode:

What started out as a vinyl bag filled with cornstarch...became this fad:

(Image Credit: YouTube (waterbedoutlet))

This popular toy of the '90s literally (and figuratively) left people in stitches:

The man behind the Mood Ring would also invent this massively popular fad:


To listen to this week's episode on demand, click the "Listen" button above, find us on the CBC Radio app or subscribe to our Podcast.


Under The Influence is recorded in the Terstream Mobile Recording studio - a 1969 Airstream trailer I've restored and transformed into a studio on wheels. So I can record the show wherever I go.

Follow the journey on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and search for the hashtag: #TerStream.

The Terstream Mobile Recording Studio. (Image Credit: Sidney O'Reilly)

See you next week.