Summary and Info
From Publishers Weekly The life of an advertising executive couldn't be further from the glamorous world of *Mad Men*, according to this entertaining, albeit meandering, memoir. After a giddy beginning banging out copy for a small ad agency, Othmer, a longtime creative director and copywriter, worked his way to the top in 2000 only to discover that his traditional agency was being abandoned in favor of forward-thinking brand stewards who wanted hip new ideas from smaller shops well-versed in new media and digital marketing. Fascinated by groundbreaking interactive campaigns like the 2007 Nine Inch Nails Internet Easter egg hunt and Burger King's Subservient Chicken gag, he found his love for advertising reinvigorated, and his book is an effort to better understand the inescapable industry's influence on culture. Though there's no particular conclusion drawn, and the story itself wanders, the humor and genuine excitement that shine through may keep some media-world readers interested—most tellingly when, at a swanky party full of advertising executives, the author wistfully observes that even real life has begun to feel fake. *(Sept.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review “Othmer uses his often hilarious experiences to discuss the stress-fueled environment advertising springs from, how its message is targeted to consumers, and how branding can actually be a good thing … [His] engaging dissection of advertising gives consumers valuable insight into how companies manipulate messages to convince us to give them our money.” –*Kirkus Reviews * "An enjoyable and profound read....It resonates with everything we love about this industry, everything we hate, everything that keeps us working in it, everything that makes us want to leave and everything that makes us believe in what could still be possible." --*Advertising Age* “What Upton Sinclair did for meatpacking, Jim Othmer has done for advertising–only with far more humor and far less (physical) horror. *Adland* is destined to become a classic of its kind–a must-read for anyone brave (or insane or aimless) enough to toil in the fields of modern advertising.” –Daniel H. Pink, author of *A Whole New Mind* “Advertising is an industry like any other, except it changes our planet daily. James Othmer, one of my favorite writers, takes you inside that world and makes the people and places real. You can dislike these guys, but you can’t ignore them. They make sure of that.” –Seth Godin, author of *Tribes* “Othmer is a witty and charming tour guide who chats self-deprecatingly about his own Adland epiphanies and humiliations while leading us inexorably toward the birthing room of Advertising Next. A terrific introduction to what advertising has been and what it is becoming, a memoir-manifesto with warmth and insight, and a must-read for those contemplating entering the industry.” –Max Berry, bestselling author of *Company* “For nearly half a century, David Ogilvy’s *Confessions of an Advertising Man* has served as the Old Testament for an industry. Now there’s a new one: James Othmer’s *Adland*. Fully aware of (but not made giddy by) the many changes that have brought advertising from the classical Age of Ogilvy to our current era of the digital baroque, Othmer describes the art of commerce with the insight of an insider and the bemusement of a novelist.” –Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture, Syracuse University, and author of *Prime Time, Prime Movers* “From pitches in corporate boardrooms to beers at the Gutter Bar, *Adland* is a highly enjoyable romp through the world of advertising. Othmer’s writing on the industry is both vivid and poignant, with a lot a humor sprinkled in for good measure.” –John Gerzema, chief insights officer, Young & Rubicam, author of *The Brand Bubble* “I’ve been in advertising more than twenty years and have spent countless hours trying to tell people how insane and hilarious and exciting and pointless and fascinating it all is. Now all I have to do is hand them this book.” –Jamie Barrett, creative director/partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco "Working in advertising can often be like the worst of reality TV – it’s like 'Survivor', 'Deadliest Catch' and 'The Apprentice' rolled up into one - and that’s on a good day. It takes a real writer to turn the farce into prose and yet keep a true perspective that allows the great moments to shine through. Having worked with Jim on farce, fantasy and some fantastic creative – I for one was mesmerized by our own doings – I have no doubt you will be too” – David Sable, Vice Chairman, COO, Wunderman Worldwide "ADLAND pulls back the curtain on the advertising industry giving the reader an inside look at this oftentimes exciting, crazy, discouraging, and exhilarating business. With a unique blend of humor and insight, Othmer guides us through this rapidly changing business and lets us see the direction in which it is headed.** A must read for any student of advertising."** -- Rick Boyko, Director, VCU Brandcenter
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