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Rory Sutherland on Influence by Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland on Influence

by Rory Sutherland


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Running Time
54 Min.
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Money is money. Results are results. Things are things. Each has a true objective value. And changing that value in the mind of the perceiver, without changing the thing itself, is a gross act of manipulation. Or at least that's what economists think. But Rory Sutherland suspects that's a wrong-headed assumption. He has an intuition that the attempt at objectivity is a kind of bias in itself -- one that risks neglecting what it is to be human and leading us to make bad choices. Objectivity as an ideology forgets that a thing's value is defined, not by an innate quality, but by our emotional relationship to it. Back in the 1950s a marketing psychologist recommended to a major automotive company that it needn't actually engineer a faster car, but simply seduce the driver into thinking the car feels faster by strengthening the spring in its accelerator pedal. Such devices give advertising a bad name. Should they? In wholly distrusting the art of shifting perception, are we missing a trick that might be vital to dealing well with our most pressing problems? In a world where the last thing we need is more stuff, wouldn't it be better to raise the imaginative potential of what we've already got?

Rory Sutherland is a leading advertising creative and Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group. He stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment. He writes a regular column for The Spectator. His new book is The Wiki Man (It's Nice That and Ogilvy Group UK, 2011).

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