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Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ad Man from TED Evil

This is a very humorous talk given by Rory Sutherland about perceived value of intangibles, and why it's important that we increase its value.

Definitely worth a watch, but if you can't spare the time, I'll give you a few of the highlights.

The basic premise is that if you would like to live in a future with fewer material goods, you want to live in a world that values intangibles. For example, engineers were asked how to make a 3 hour train ride more bearable. Their solution was to build a 6 billion pound track that shortens the trip by 40 minutes.


The ad man's answer, from an intangible standpoint, you should employ all the world's top super models to hand out the best wine for free during the trip.

It would cost half as much.

Another story, this one from the 19th century, Ataturk wanted to discourage the wearing of a veil in Turkey. He saw it as an old tradition that was holding back the Turkish culture.

Boring people would have just outlawed the veil. Ataturk make the veil compulsory for prostitutes to wear.

Italy discovered another interesting piece of intangible value. In Britain, you get points for each traffic violation. You lose your license after receiving 12.

Italy, instead, gave the driver 12 points and deducting the points for each traffic violation. They discovered that loss aversion is a much more powerful influence on people's behavior.

The best advertising campaign he discussed was one for a cereal called Shreddies. It's basically Brittan's version of Wheat Chex. This was their advert.

Finally, he finished with a quote from G.K. Chesterton.

"We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders"

Hilariously, right after the TED video is an advertisement for Rolex.


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