Under The Influencewith Terry O'Reilly

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Under The Influence host Terry O'Reilly answers listener questions

From why some commercials overstay their welcome, to whether lawn signs really affect elections, to the inspiration behind the Under The Influence theme song, host Terry O'Reilly answers social media questions.

How self-driving cars will change your life

While it may seem like a bit of a novelty these days, the era of the autonomous car is fast approaching. And the implications for business, marketing and everyday life are astounding. Fasten your seatbelts.

The total fluke that helped Las Vegas tourism recover after the 2017 shooting

When a city experiences a massive crisis, it must find a way to restore its tourism. All cities rely on tourism – it is often one of the top revenue-generating industries and employs one of the biggest workforces.

This brand created the first ad visible from outer space

The aim of all advertising is to create selling ideas that are impossible to ignore. And in its quest to bring as much attention as possible to brands, the ad biz has shattered a world record or two along the way.

How a military tragedy led to the invention of GPS

The army has invented more products than any other agency, company or organization in history. You'd be astounded at how many products - invented by the military - that now sit in your home at his very moment.

How a billion dollar cosmetics company started off by selling books

One door-to-door book salesman in the 1800s enticed housewives to buy his books by offering them a free vial of perfume. And the rest is cosmetics history.

Which brand colours encourage you to buy

Interpreting colours is an interesting science. In the world of marketing, colours play a bigger role in your purchasing decisions than you may think.

This major company brags about being second best. Here's why.

As a rule, no company ever wants to point a neon sign at its flaws. In the world of advertising, everything's always coming up roses. But there are a few brave advertisers out there who know that there can be incredible power in a negative.

The day Gordon Lightfoot died, then came back to life

Why Gordon Lightfoot was surprised to hear he had died on his car radio one day, how the voices in his head helped Brian Wilson make music, and other rock history stories.

How a pants-free Tom Cruise rescued Ray-Ban

Back in the early ‘80s, Ray-Ban sales took a dive. The brand needed a life raft. And one came…in the form of a pants-free Tom Cruise.

Famous ads you didn't know became movies or sitcoms

Once in a blue moon, commercials make the unlikely leap…to Hollywood. Some become big hit movies, others inspired popular songs. One even became a TV series that was voted one of the worst sitcoms of all time. But that’s what can happen when an ad hitchhikes to Hollywood.

Why Southwest held up an entire flight to change one man's life

Customer service is marketing. And companies that add smart, little touches make all the difference. Like grocery stores that magnify the small type on vitamin bottles, hardware stores that give you maps of their aisles and airlines that delay a plane full of people to get one man to his family.

The three-word jingle that made one company billions of dollars

Jingles had a great run until the late ‘80s, then songs overtook them. But a few big jingles have beaten the trend in recent years. One in particular has even made one company ten figures.

How a franchisee gone rogue inspired the Big Mac Song

So many brands were built on the backs of jingles. From the Big Mac, to Smarties, to Wheaties cereal. Successful jingles stay lodged in our minds forever. Once you hear them, learn the melody and start singing the lyrics, you become the advertiser.

Three products you didn't know were named after their inventors

Did you know there was a man named Nacho? What about a Mrs. Granny Smith? Or how about a Mr. Leotard? Some products are so cemented in our minds we forget their names once belonged to real people.

Products you own that started off as useless junk

How Vaseline, rubber bands, IKEA furniture and other everyday products started out life completely worthless.

Celebrities in advertising: Powerful tool or expensive problem

How Alan Arkin defied all advertising norms, why Ivory Snow had its snow-white image tarnished by a celebrity and how advertising gave Spike Lee his big break.

Kentucky Fried rats, exploding kids & other urban brand myths

Urban brand myths like the Kentucky Fried rat, the failed Chevy Nova and the case of the exploding kid live on as assumed facts. But many of the myths you’ve heard and maybe even passed along are actually untrue.

Mail order monkeys & other crazy comic book ads

How a feral squirrel-monkey attacked its new owner, why a submarine disintegrated on the front lawn, how X-Ray specs caused nothing but confusion - and other crazy comic book advertising stories.

How A Wardrobe Change Transformed Steve Martin's Career

Steve Martin was the biggest concert comedian in show business, but he had one major problem.

How the Super Bowl saved the avocado

Avocados started out life with a very unappetizing name. But thanks to some clever marketing and Super Bowl Sunday, the seeded fruit found rebirth.

Why People Are Finding Underwear In Their Mailboxes

Did you know you could have underwear sent to your door every month? How about joining the Salami of the Month club? Or maybe your cat needs a regular toy top-up. You can subscribe to just about anything these days - and some of the items may surprise you.

How The A&W Root Bear Died Then Came Back to Life

Clients hated the idea, research failed and focus groups booed. Yet, these marketing campaigns went on to become huge successes.

I See A Little Silhouetto Of A Brand: How Old School Products Survive

This week, we analyze how old school products survive in the 21st century. Many brands can’t keep up with the digital age, but others have found a way to succeed – some doing even better business today. We’ll look at how one company makes money by retiring its products, why another partnered up with its biggest competitors to stay relevant and how an entire profession saved itself by not going digital. From Crayola to Velveeta, it all comes down to smart marketing.
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.
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