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Under the Influence from CBC Radio
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Under the Influence from CBC Radio

Author: CBC Radio

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Under the Influence gives listeners a rare backstage pass into the hallways, boardrooms and recording studios of the ad industry.
Join host and adman Terry O’Reilly for fascinating (and humorous) stories that connect the dots between pop culture, marketing and human nature.
167 Episodes
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S9E26 - Ask Terry 2020

S9E26 - Ask Terry 2020

2020-06-2528:363

This week it’s our final episode of the 2020 season, where we answer listener questions sent to us through social media. Like - why the most popular Super Bowl commercial chose to replace their lead actor, why Gatorade’s famous "Be Like Mike" campaign called Michael Jordan “Mike” when no one ever called him that before and we’ll answer the age-old question - why are there so many bad ads? Thanks for tuning in, folks. It's been a fun season. We'll see you next year.
This week we’re talking about the Mandela Effect. It is defined as “collective false memory.” That means many of us remember things incorrectly and we all remember them incorrectly the same way. From famous movie lines to song lyrics to details of traumatic events and even to famous commercials, we all think our memories are time-stamped videos of our lives. But they are not.
This week, we explore the branding of diseases. Over the course of history, diseases have been named after people and countries with devastating effects. Names have stigmatized entire regions, decimated industries and have even caused diplomatic crises. And countries have weaponized diseases for political purposes. As with all branding, words matter.
S9E23 - Bookmarks 2020

S9E23 - Bookmarks 2020

2020-06-0427:563

This week it’s our annual Bookmarks episode, where we tell fascinating stories from our research that didn't make it into the regular season. We’ll talk about a book that maintains if you build a better mousetrap, the world will NOT beat a path to your door. And we’ll tell a story from a biography of Bruce Lee that proves sometimes the only way to sell a product is to increase its price. Throw on your reading glasses and join us for Bookmarks 2020.
Some people call Under The Influence "UTI" for short. It’s not a good nickname. But some brand nicknames are positive and extremely valuable - like "Coke" and "Chevy." Others like “Whole Paycheck” don’t make Whole Foods happy. Join us this week as we explore the implications of Brand Nicknames.
Every episode of Under The Influence begins with an opening story. And after more than 300 episodes, we’ve told over 300 opening stories. This week, we look back at the ones that generated the most listener feedback - from a story about a one-armed martial artist to the unorthodox ways lovers communicated in the Victorian era to the story of the greatest racehorse of all time.
80-90% of new product launches fail. So to lower the risk, companies do trial runs. This week, we explore Test Markets - where companies launch new products in small towns to see if shoppers pay attention. We’ll tell the stories of successful product launches as well as a few notable product disasters.
This week, we explore how business can be won or lost with spontaneous off-hand remarks. Not all advertising business is conducted in a boardroom or in commercials. Sometimes somebody says something in an elevator, or in a speech or in a doorway that leads to winning an account - or losing it. Talk ain’t cheap.
S9E16 - Brand Envy 2020

S9E16 - Brand Envy 2020

2020-04-1628:254

This week, it’s our annual Brand Envy episode, where I tell the stories behind some of the brands I admire. We’ll talk about a romance novel company that was started by a fur trader, an empire created by a cartoonist and a certain dairy product with its very own spokes-angel. Hope you’ll join us for the 2020 edition of Brand Envy.
This week, we explore the world of Torture Tests. Torture test commercials are one of the advertising industry’s most powerful techniques - because when a product can survive a dramatic test, it can convince a lot of people to buy the product. Unless, that is, the torture test goes very wrong…
This week, we explore the world of Online Reviews. These days you can leave a review for anything - from a cup of coffee to your dentist. 90% of us read online reviews before buying a product - that’s why those reviews are so influential. Yet how do you tell fake ones from the real thing? Thumbs up or thumbs down, welcome to the world of online reviews.
This week, we explore the quiet world of ASMR marketing. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a new form of marketing that creates a calming feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation. Marketers create that experience using sound effects and whispers. Everything from beer brands to fast food restaurants are using it - hoping that tingling sensation leads to a cash register.
Dum dum da dum. This week, we explore the lucrative world of Wedding Marketing. Weddings are big, big business. And as a result, the wedding industry is a big, big marketing category. From invitations and flowers to dresses and cakes, today's weddings are an $80 billion industry. And planning the perfect day is a lot of pressure.
This week, we explore how airports are now becoming brands. You may not know it, but airports compete against each other for business. That intense rivalry has led to the complete transformation of airports - they now have movie theatres, skating rinks, rooftop pools and top retail stores. These days, airports are destinations unto themselves.
This week, we explore why companies 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. For example, Mr. Clean is called Meister Proper in Germany and Maestro Lindo in Italy. And the reason it’s hard to find a Burger King in Australia is the most curious story of all.
This week, we look at the phenomenon of Set Jetting. That’s when tourists flock to a city to see the sets and locations where their favourite TV shows and movies are filmed. Some towns have embraced set jetting as new-found tourism marketing. Other towns absolutely resent it. It’s a fascinating love/hate relationship.
This week, it’s Part Two of our Album Covers As Marketing episode. In the 1980s, album covers shrunk down for the first time to accommodate CDs. And in the 2000s, the advent of iPods shrunk them again to the size of a postage stamp, forcing album artwork to become highly creative.
This week on Under the Influence, we analyze Album Covers As Marketing. We’ll look at a world famous record cover that was almost ruined by a zipper, why flights at Heathrow Airport had to be grounded for one band’s cover art and which album jacket is considered to be the worst of all time.
This week, we look at the fascinating ways sports teams market themselves. We’ll unpack why one stadium replaced its ushers with librarians, why another encouraged fans to wear “awful" clothes and how a grammatical error put Toronto on the map. It all comes down to a strategic game plan.
This week, we analyze how small brands outsmart their giant counterparts. We’ll look at a snack food company with a cult-like following that outsells Frito-Lay in Baltimore. A tiny soda brand that obliterates Coca Cola in Scotland. And a bubble gum-flavoured drink that beats all the giants only in Peru. Goliath, meet David.
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Comments (30)

Andrew Randall

I can't get enough

May 19th
Reply

Fraser Scantlebury

An excellent episode - brought back great memories- thanks Terry!

May 16th
Reply

Janine White

entertaining as always. but maybe a little tone-deaf celebrating brands that made it through a pandemic despite the odds, while hundreds of your listeners are struggling with exactly that battle right now and probably won't have such luck.

Apr 18th
Reply

Janine White

my favourite banana slicer review was the one who complained that it curved the wrong way. dad joke gold.

Apr 7th
Reply

Hamid Nosrati

how can I get podcasts text?

Feb 9th
Reply

Danny Savino

love you podcast

Sep 23rd
Reply

Dave E. Fortin

where is season 6 and 7?

Sep 6th
Reply

Hermon J. Mayers

Love the show but one correction, the ridiculously named Redskins are a football team. The baseball team with the equally ridiculous name is the Cleveland Indians.

May 18th
Reply

Bob the Conqueror of Mornings

Mailed it in on this episode. 5 minutes of examples of number stations. I think one station would do the trick

Mar 16th
Reply

Maxx Vu

Excellent show. Thank you!

Feb 21st
Reply

Bob the Conqueror of Mornings

Great episode. If only all the episodes were so full and rich with little fluff to fill out the 25 minutes

Feb 14th
Reply

doug macleod

love this show

Feb 11th
Reply

Paulie Deville

this is one of my favourite shows to listen to on CBC

Feb 2nd
Reply

Ken W

Dont think season 2 is available yet. Check CBC website

Jan 22nd
Reply

Anthony Hicks

I can't find season 2 any where ! It would be awesome to see it here. Any suggestions anyone ?

Jan 8th
Reply (1)

Katie Blight

this is the best! thank you!

Jan 2nd
Reply

Delainy Brown

excellant show more pls

Dec 18th
Reply

Gary Geer

yes, more, more, more pls

Nov 7th
Reply

Soroush Karimian

please post more episodes of under the influence

Oct 31st
Reply

Andy Rondeau

I really enjoy this, Terry. Keep it up!

Sep 14th
Reply
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