Under the Influence from CBC Radio

Under the Influence from CBC Radio


Under The Influence gives you a rare backstage pass into the hallways, boardrooms and recording studios of the ad industry. Join host and adman Terry O’Reilly for fascinating stories that connect the dots between pop culture, marketing and human nature.


Brands In Cars Getting Coffee: Sponsorship Marketing  

This week, we enter the delicate world of Sponsorship Marketing. Close to 20 billion sponsorship dollars are spent each year in North America. That money can keep a brand afloat, or it can cause a lot of tension.

Small Move, Big Gain: An Encore Presentation  

This episode explores how small moves can result in huge business gains. While much of the business world spends its time looking for the big idea, many companies enjoy massive results with tiny moves and subtle tweaks.

Lead Balloons: When Negative Brand Names Work  

This week, we analyze brand names that should never have worked. While most companies strive for positive names, others succeed with negative ones.

Judgment Day: Super Bowl Advertising  

This week, we take a look at the biggest day of the year for the advertising industry: The Super Bowl. The only sporting event where viewers pay as much attention to the commercials as they do the game.

What A Difference A Difference Makes: Standing Out In The Marketplace  

This week, we look at brands that separate themselves from the herd. In the world of marketing, standing out is the most critical thing a company can do. Having a distinct personality gives shoppers a reason to remember a brand and a reason to buy.

Passport Revoked: When Brands Fail Internationally  

This week, we explore why some big brands fail when they attempt to expand internationally. We’ll look at how Home Depot and eBay struck out in China, why Germany didn’t take well to Walmart and dive deep into the real reasons Target failed in Canada.

Unforeseen Circumstances: How Companies Are Affected by Chance  

This week, we look at how unforeseen circumstances can affect companies in huge ways. This episode is a live recording of our first-ever live podcast at the Hot Docs PodFest. Stay tuned at the end for a Q&A with the audience.

The Crazy World of Trademarks  

A lawsuit between Disney and a music performer over a mouse trademark, how companies trademark sounds, a ring announcer who earned over $400 million from trademarking a single sentence, and how Marilyn Manson saved his career by trademarking his name.

Summer Series: When Madison Avenue Met Broadway: The World of Industrial Musicals  

This week, we explore the little known and surprising world of Industrial Musicals. In an unexpected collision of Madison Avenue and Broadway, companies in the '50s began staging full-fledged musicals in an effort to inspire their employees.

Summer Series: Bookmarks 2016  

The research team at Under The Influence does a lot of reading over the year, and finds a lot of great stories - many of which don't fit into our regular episodes. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be told. This week, we share those stories.

Summer Series: Brand Envy 2016  

This is our annual episode where Terry tells some interesting stories about the brands he admires. From the first toy ever advertised on TV, to a teen magazine dedicated to heartthrobs, each brand has a special reason why it has survived and thrived.

Summer Series: Strange Bedfellows: Advertising & Porn, Part II  

This week, it's part two of our Strange Bedfellows episode. It's not just smaller brands that are beginning to advertise on porn sites, Hollywood has come knocking, too. And at the same time, porn sites are starting to advertise in mainstream media.

Summer Series: Strange Bedfellows: Advertising & Porn  

This week, we explore the increasingly blurry line between advertising and pornography. There has always been a line advertisers wouldn't cross to promote their wares - but now some marketers have tiptoed over that line to advertise on porn sites.

Summer Series: Business As Unusual: The World of Business-To-Business Advertising  

This week, we explore the world of business-to-business advertising. It used to be the most boring advertising in the world, but all that changed when B2B companies dared advertise on the Super Bowl.

Summer Series: Liar For Hire: And Other Strange Service Companies  

While there are many strange products in the world, there are even stranger service companies. From a company that rents wedding guests, to another that you can actually hire to cuddle you, it appears as though there's a business for everything.

Summer Series: Movie Merchandising  

This week, we explore the marketing of movie merchandise. From the earliest days of merchandising book characters, to the birth of Mickey Mouse, we chart the milestones in entertainment merchandising and how they became a key strategy to build audiences.

Summer Series: Small Move, Big Gain  

This episode explores how small moves can result in huge business gains. While much of the business world spends its time looking for the big idea, many companies enjoy massive results with tiny moves and subtle tweaks.

Summer Series: How Marketing Created Rituals  

In our first episode of the Summer Series, we look at how the marketing industry created many of our everyday rituals. From eating bacon and eggs in the morning, to taking a "coffee break" at work, marketers created these rituals to sell more product.

Ask Terry  

This week marks the final episode of the Under The Influence 2016 season. And as we do every year, we're turning this show over to you, our listeners, and answering the marketing and advertising questions you've sent us through social media.

Commercial Parodies  

This week, we take a peek into the risky, yet delicious world of commercial parodies. Some spoof ads are created just for laughs, while others are sharp critiques of questionable products, overzealous advertising claims & self-congratulatory corporations.

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