Under The Influence

About the show

Back in 2005, I was at a lunch with three good friends from the radio business. Over a few beers, one of those friends, Larry MacInnis, said, “You know, Terry, if you were to break your annual creative radio seminar into smaller pieces, it would make an interesting radio show.”

See, once a year, I would stage a big radio event, and invite about 200 young copywriters to a theatre. Over the course of the day, I would teach them how to produce creative radio commercials.

But I had never thought of turning it into a radio series.

So I laughed and said to Larry, “Who would run a radio show like that?” He paused, and said, “The CBC.”

To which I replied, “You mean the advertising-free CBC? The network people flee to in order to avoid advertising? That network?”

“Yeah,” he said.

Well, this year will mark the 12th anniversary of that radio show airing on CBC and Sirius Satellite.

It began as a 10-episode summer replacement series in 2005. Co-created with Mike Tennant, the show was titled, “O’Reilly On Advertising.” The program explored the world of advertising in a fun and irreverent way. Response was so positive – so quickly – that CBC asked us to stay on and produce a total of 25 episodes that first year.

When CBC wanted the show to come back in 2006, we decided to recalibrate the series, take a longer view, and re-christened it, “The Age of Persuasion.”

The program looked at all aspects of advertising, from copywriting, to radio commercials, to TV commercials, to direct mail, to the history of advertising – then broke it all down – and took listeners behind the walls of advertising agencies and big brands.

The audience responded and grew with each season. By 2010, we were averaging about 450,000 listeners per week.

Around the same time, the show was picked up by WBEZ in Chicago, and our American audience started to grow.

In 2010, my series co-creator, Mike Tennant, went on to pursue other projects. It was as good a time as any to reboot and rebrand, as so much had changed in the world of marketing since 2005.

So Age of Persuasion continued for one more year, then in 2012, the show expanded to take a much wider look at – not just advertising – but the expanding world of marketing. With that refocus, the show changed its name to become, “Under The Influence.”

Since that change, our audience numbers took a big jump. We have over a million listeners per week in Canada alone, and our podcast has been downloaded over 17.25 million times. We also have a sizable audience abroad, with listeners in countries as far away as Britain, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, Japan, China, Philippines and Mexico.

In 2011, iTunes named the show the Best New Podcast of the year.

The New York Festivals awarded the show the Grand Trophy as the Best Radio Program in 2011 and again in 2012.

iTunes again named Under The Influence as one of the best podcasts of 2015.

And believe it or not, we’re fast approaching our 300th episode.

Who knew?

Besides Larry MacInnis, of course.

 

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Master Episode List

Under The Influence: Season 6
  1. The Crazy World of Trademarks
  2. Unforeseen Circumstances: How Companies Are Affected By Chance
  3. Passport Revoked: When Brands Fail Internationally
  4. What A Difference A Difference Makes: Standing Out in the Marketplace
  5. Judgment Day: Super Bowl Advertising
  6. Lead Balloons: When Negative Brand Names Work
  7. Small Move, Big Gain (Repeat, Season V)
  8. Brands In Cars Getting Coffee: Sponsorship Marketing
  9. The Elephant in the Room: Humane Marketing vs. Profit
  10. The Odd Couple: Unlikely Marketing Collaborations
  11. The Frankenstein Factor: Inventors Who Regret Their Inventions
  12. Commercial Parodies! (Repeat, Season V)
  13. The Wizarding World of Influencer Marketing
  14. Selling The Dream: Real Estate Advertising
  15. Guys and Dolls: Gender Marketing, Part I
  16. Guys and Dolls: Gender Marketing, Part II
  17. When Madison Avenue Met Broadway: The World of Industrial Musicals
    (Repeat, Season V)
  18. Grab Your Wallet: When Brands Go Political
  19. Brand Envy: #CANADA150
  20. The Most Interesting Adman in the World: The Story of Albert Lasker
  21. The Crazy World of Trademarks (Repeat, Season VI)
  22. The Lean Mean Fat Reducing Money Machine: How Marketing Affects Sports
  23. Now Splinter Free: How Marketing Broke Taboos
  24. Cannes Creative Advertising Be Effective?
  25. Bookmarks 2017
  26. Ask Terry 2017
Under The Influence: Season 5
  1. How Marketing Created Rituals
  2. Promise Less, Profit More
  3. Zombie Brands
  4. When Marketers Lie
  5. Small Move, Big Gain
  6. Words Invented By Marketers
  7. Tourism Marketing (Repeat – Season IV)
  8. Movie Merchandising
  9. Achilles Heel Advertising: Repositioning The Competition
  10. Live and Let Buy: Where You Live Dictates What You Purchase
  11. Liar For Hire: And Other Strange Service Companies
  12. Sue Me Sue You Blues: Famous Advertising Lawsuits (Repeat – Season IV)
  13. Bouncing Back: How Marketers Survive Debacles
  14. World’s Oldest Brands
  15. Business As Unusual: The World of B2B Advertising
  16. Brand Envy (2016)
  17. Selling Yourself: The Art of Personal Branding (Repeat – Season IV)
  18. Strange Bedfellows: Advertising & Porn – Part I
  19. Strange Bedfellows: Advertising & Porn – Part II
  20. Radio Still Makes Waves
  21. Persuasive Perks: The World of Loyalty Programs
  22. Bookmarks (2016)
  23. When Madison Avenue Met Broadway: The World of Industrial Musicals
  24. Commercial Parodies
  25. Ask Terry (2016)
Under The Influence: Season 4
  1. Strange Brands
  2. Controversy Advertising
  3. Selling Ugly
  4. Selling The Moon – Part I
  5. Selling The Moon – Part II
  6. Marketing Hit Songs
  7. Sunny With A Chance of Mouse Traps: How Weather Affects Marketing (Repeat – Season III)
  8. For Your Consideration: The Hollywood Oscar Campaigns The Public Never Sees
  9. Geography As Branding
  10. The Sharing Economy
  11. Giftvertising
  12. Nudge: The Persuasive Power of Whispers (Repeat – Season III)
  13. The Marketing Innovations Episode
  14. Limited Edition Brands
  15. Tourism Marketing
  16. Brand Envy (2015)
  17. Show Me The Money: The World of Product Placement
  18. Elevator Pitches (Repeat – Season III)
  19. Even In The Dark: How Packaging Persuades You To Buy
  20. Sue Me, Sue You Blues: Famous Advertising Lawsuits
  21. Bookmarks
  22. The Internet of (Marketing) Things
  23. Brand Envy (2015) (Repeat – Season IV)
  24. Selling Yourself: The Art of Personal Branding
  25. Ask Terry
Under The Influence: Season 3
  1. Looking Out For #1
  2. The Psychology of Price
  3. Cause Marketing
  4. Marketing Rock ‘N Roll – Part I
  5. Marketing Rock ‘N Roll – Part II
  6. Marketing The Olympics
  7. Ambush Marketing
  8. Radio Is Dead: Long Live Radio (Repeat – Season II)
  9. Have It Your Way: How Mass Customization Is Changing Marketing
  10. Viral Videos
  11. Advertising Alumni
  12. Sunny With A Chance of Mousetraps: How Weather Affects Marketing
  13. Tales of Customer Service (Repeat – Season II)
  14. Elevator Pitches
  15. Terry’s Bookshelf
  16. Brand Envy (2014)
  17. Nudge: The Persuasive Power of Whispers
  18. Game Shows As Marketing (Repeat – Season II)
  19. When Founders Are The Face of The Company
  20. Selling Death
  21. 21st Century Brands
  22. Looking Out for #1 (Repeat – Season III)
  23. Satisfaction Guaranteed
  24. When Brands Mock Other Brands
  25. Dear Terry
Under The Influence: Season 2
  1. Shame: The Secret Tool of Marketing
  2. A Prize In Every Box: Premiums, toys and Box-Tops
  3. Timing Is Everything
  4. Radio is Dead: Long Live Radio
  5. Buy Less: How Some Companies Profit By Asking You To Spend Less
  6. Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma
  7. Colour Schemes: How Colours Make Us Buy (Repeat – Season I)
  8. Coming Soon: The Art of The Movie Trailer
  9. Marketing Stunts
  10. Billion Dollar Brands
  11. Tales of Customer Service
  12. Selling Danger
  13. Hyper-Targeting: How Brands Track You Online (Repeat – Season I)
  14. Famous Marketing Blunders
  15. Game Shows As Marketing
  16. Loss Leaders: How Companies Profit By Losing Money
  17. Brand Envy
  18. It’s The Little Things (Repeat – Season I)
  19. Nothing In Common: How Hollywood Portrays Ad People
  20. Real Time Advertising
  21. Nobody’s Dead Anymore: Marketing Deceased Celebrities
  22. Shame: The Secret Tool of Marketing (Repeat – Season II)
  23. Trust In Advertising
  24. This I Know
  25. Dear Terry
Under The Influence: Season 1
  1. A New BRIC In The Wall
  2. Men Are From Sears: Women Are From Bloomingdale’s
  3. Voices of Influence
  4. Great Brands That Never Advertise
  5. Getting Personal In The Classified Ads
  6. Big Chill Marketing: The Influence of Music
  7. The Marketing Genius of Steve Jobs – Part I
  8. The Marketing Genius of Steve Jobs – Part II
  9. Movie Marketing
  10. Marketing In A Crisis
  11. Accidental Brands
  12. Handcuffed By Brand Image
  13. When Big Brands Houdini
  14. Mascots
  15. Charlie Bit My Ad: When Advertising Works Too Well
  16. Sex In Advertising
  17. Hyper-Targeting
  18. Colour Schemes: How Colours Make You Buy
  19. Brand Envy
  20. When Brands Apologize: Sorry Seems To Be The Smartest Word
  21. Books, Books, Books
  22. LGBT Advertising
  23. It’s The Little Things
  24. Striking Images: Matchbook Advertising
  25. Dear Terry
The Age of Persuasion: Season 5
  1. Green Marketing
  2. Luxury Advertising
  3. Candid Commercials
  4. Speed Bumps
  5. Marketing Pioneers
  6. Even More Remarkable Brands
  7. Marketing The Unpleasant (Repeat – Season IV)
  8. AOP Goes To The Movies
  9. The Commercials You Grew Up With
  10. Burn The Boats
  11. Pitchmen (Repeat – Season IV)
  12. Mad Women
  13. Dynamic Duos: The Famous Partnerships In Advertising
  14. Three Foot Marketing
  15. All Things Being Equal: Parity Products (Repeat – Season IV)
  16. The Happy Homemaker: How Advertising Invented The Housewife (Part One)
  17. The Happy Homemaker: How Advertising Invented The Housewife (Part Two)
  18. Opportunism (Repeat – Season IV)
  19. The Sound of Persuasion
  20. Ageism In Advertising
  21. Slogans (Repeat – Season IV)
  22. Terry’s Book Club
  23. Diversity In Advertising
  24. Ask Terry Again
The Age of Persuasion: Season 4
  1. Marketing The Unpleasant
  2. Buzz
  3. Pitchmen
  4. Heroes & Villains
  5. Persuasion Fail
  6. Slogans
  7. Categories
  8. Are People Idiots?
  9. Being There: Selling Experiences
  10. Marketing The Unpleasant (Repeat – Season IV)
  11. All Things Being Equal: Parity Products
  12. Context
  13. Buzz (Repeat – Season IV)
  14. Oddballs: Singular Campaigns
  15. Privacy
  16. Pitchmen (Repeat – Season IV)
  17. Where Power Resides
  18. Profiles In Marketing Courage
  19. Negative Advertising
  20. Opportunism
  21. A Few More Remarkable Brands
  22. Ask Terry Some More
  23. Mad Men
The Age of Persuasion: Season 3
  1. A Taste For Blood: Direct Marketing
  2. Recession Marketing
  3. Nasty Is The New Nice
  4. Rethink The Shark
  5. According To Hoyle
  6. The Human Face of Persuasion (Repeat – Season I)
  7. Breaking The Contract (Repeat – Season I)
  8. Commandeering Holidays
  9. Great Canadian Campaigns
  10. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
  11. Sun Tzu and The Art of Persuasion
  12. A Taste For Blood: Direct Marketing (Repeat – Season II)
  13. Selling God
  14. Brand Loyalty
  15. Big and Small
  16. Recession Marketing (Repeat – Season III)
  17. The Real Deal: Authenticity
  18. The Myths of Persuasion
  19. Marketing The Invisible
  20. Great Canadian Campaigns (Repeat – Season III)
  21. Entertainment Or Nothing
  22. The Museum of Persuasion
  23. Urban Legends
  24. Embracing New Media
  25. Ask Terry
The Age of Persuasion: Season 2
  1. There’s Never A Marques of Queensbury Around When You Need One
  2. The Sport of Persuasion
  3. Old Media, New Media, Borrowed Media, Blue Media
  4. Branding The News
  5. Guerrillas In Our Midst (Repeat – Season I)
  6. Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned From Agency Pitches
  7. Leaving Your Mark
  8. 23 Things I’d Like To change About Advertising
  9. Reviving The Brand
  10. The Trouble With Big
  11. Royal Jelly
  12. Advertisers As Censors
  13. Award In Edgewise (Repeat – Season I)
  14. Crowd Control
  15. The Strategy of Persuasion
  16. In Defence of Advertising
  17. It’s The Insight, Stupid (Repeat – Season I)
  18. Emotion
  19. The Myth of Mass Marketing
  20. Selling War
  21. Frontiers and Boundaries (Repeat – Season I)
  22. Advertising As The New Sugar Daddy
  23. Persuasion In The Niches
  24. Six Remarkable Brands — Oprah Winfrey, The Beatles, Muhammad Ali, Lego, Las Vegas and The Polar Bear
The Age of Persuasion: Season 1
  1. Clutter
  2. The Language of Persuasion
  3. Rinse and Repeat
  4. Yoots – Youth Marketing
  5. The Lesson of Clark Gable’s Undershirt
  6. The Long and Short of It
  7. Breaking The Contract
  8. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Branded Entertainment
  9. The Human Face of Persuasion
  10. All The World’s a Marketing Opportunity
  11. Walk 1.6 Kilometres In My Shoes
  12. Strange But True Tales of Market Research
  13. Love, Marriage and Sexual Tension
  14. Branding A Nation
  15. The Persuasive Power of Storytelling
  16. Protecting The Celebrity Brand
  17. Goin’ To The Show: Super Bowl Ads
  18. A Sense of Persuasion
  19. Leaving Your Mark
  20. The YouTube Revolution
  21. By Any Other Name
  22. Guerrillas In Our Midst
  23. Frontiers and Boundaries
  24. Reviving The Brand
  25. It’s The Insight, Stupid
  26. Award in Edgewise
  27. The Wall of Cynicism
  28. The Future of Persuasion
  29. Do This Or Die
O'Reilly on Advertising
  1. When Ads Go Too Far
  2. So You Want to Be a Voice Actor
  3. Celebrities In Advertising
  4. A Brief History of Advertising
  5. The Science of Advertising
  6. David and Goliath Ad Stories
  7. Music in Advertising
  8. The Sparhawk Beer Story (AKA “From Suits to Nuts”)
  9. The Five Men Who Invented My Job
  10. The Wrath of Cannes
  11. Humour in Ads
  12. Art of the PSA
  13. In Radio, You Are the Art Director
  14. Greatest Beer Ads
  15. International Ads – A Look Around The World
  16. The Importance of Branding
  17. Using Music as a Character
  18. Advocacy Ads – Selling an Idea, Not a Product
  19. Moments – Moments That Made Commercials Great
  20. Campaigns
  21. Good Briefs, Bad Briefs, Ugly Briefs
  22. The Great Debate – Creative vs Effective
  23. Great Writing
  24. Fashions in Ad Creative – Trends
  25. Desert Island Reel – Terry’s Favourite Spots of All Time

 

Fun Facts

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  • We currently have over a million radio listeners per week in Canada.
  • …and over 17 million podcast downloads since 2012.
  • We create three versions of each episode:
    1. CBC/WBEZ Chicago
    2. Podcast for iTunes
    3. Sirius Satellite Radio
  • It takes 12 hours to record and mix each 27 minute episode.
  • There are four researchers on the team. One researcher is assigned per episode. The research for each show is split between Terry and that researcher.
  • Each episode requires 30-40 hours of research.
  • It takes Terry three days to write an episode.
  • We are always juggling four episodes: One is being researched, one is being written, one is being recorded, and one is being revised for air.
  • 22 original episodes are aired each season. Four episodes per season are encore broadcasts of popular episodes from previous seasons.
  • From our first season in 2005 to the end of the 2017 season, we will have produced 272 episodes (O’Reilly on Advertising + Age of Persuasion + Under The Influence)
  • One podcast (Unforeseen Circumstances: How Companies Are Affected By Chance) was recorded in front of a live studio audience.
  • Under The Influence is a family affair. Each member of Terry’s family plays an important role in the show’s production.
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