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Hacking the Unconscious cover art

Hacking the Unconscious

By: Rory Sutherland
Narrated by: Rory Sutherland
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Summary

Rory Sutherland explores the stories and psychology behind the most influential marketing campaigns in history, and smashes apart received wisdom with a look at iconoclastic ideas.

Advertising guru Rory Sutherland is a world-leading proponent of behavioural economics. In Hacking the Unconscious, he looks at how this emerging science is used by marketers to influence us and challenges us to reassess which ideas we hold dear.

In part one, Marketing, Rory asks why certain ad campaigns, such as Nike's 'Just Do It' and the MND Ice Bucket Challenge, cast such a spell over us. Looking at 10 all-time great campaigns - including Coke's iconic 'Hilltop' ad, Dove's 'Campaign for Real Beauty' and De Beers' 'A Diamond Is Forever' - he discusses their success with the creative minds that conceived them.

Along the way, he ponders the allure of altruism, asks whether ads can be art, considers what 'Big Data' means for the future of marketing and shows how a powerful health campaign transformed attitudes, and saved lives.

Part two, Thought Cages, sees Rory confounding conventional wisdom with his intriguing, subversive and controversial concepts. Is education always a good thing? Would we be better off selecting our MPs by lottery? Plus, he looks at the dilemma the NHS faces - to be successful, or to be loved; speculates if we're really as rational as we think; exposes the fallacy of market research; shows how businesses play on our susceptibility to commitment; and wonders whether online retail will ever replicate the magic of the traditional shopping experience.

As he explores how 'psycho-logic', behavioural quirks and mind hacks could drive change, he formulates a magical series of radical ideas that may provide new solutions to society's problems.

Contributors include novelist Fay Weldon; onetime CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix; New York Times best-selling author Bryan Caplan; MP Jess Philips and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, statistician and author of The Black Swan.

Presented by Rory Sutherland

Produced by Steven Rajam and Michael Surcombe

Hacking the Unconscious

Featuring: Shelina Janmohamed, Steve Henry, Roger Greenaway, Nicola Raihani, Sara Pascoe, Geoffrey Miller, Daryl Fielding, J Courtney Sullivan, Fay Weldon, Scott Bedbury, Liz Dolan, Byron Sharp, Alexander Nix, Nick Hall, Lord Norman Fowler, Sammy Harari, Sir Nick Partridge, Jacqueline Gold, Jennifer Jacquet, Matt Brosnan

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 1-12 May 2017

Thought Cages

Featuring: Natalie Perera, Bryan Caplan, Nicholas Gruen, Jess Philips, Diana Fleischman, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Helena Cronin, Dave Trott, Ben Page, Nichola Raihani, Robin Hanson, Oliver Payne, Natalie Nahai, Leigh Caldwell, Jonathan Haidt, Owain Service, Sue Benson, Dan Ariely, Katherine Lewis, David Dalziel

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 19-30 November 2018

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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Radio 4 recording, not a book

Really, how is this worth a token? It’s a radio 4 broadcast, not a book, and that should be stated clearly. There is good stuff here, but the beats and incidental music of Radio 4 are annoying and just serve to remind you that you’ve been somewhat conned.

At one point, they hadn’t even exited out the previous program.

Poor.

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Rory at his best

Conversational, authoritative, instructive and hugely engaging.
A most relaxing and informative few hours delivered by a master of making a dry subject very human. With a top draw cats if guest.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How to do an Audible Book

Not only was the content amazing but also the format was how all audible books should be .
Why stick to a great orator reading a book, why not add music , different people reading different elements of content and add some other sound - so podcast a book ..... and it supports its subject matter - I will listen to this again and again and again.
Thanks from Moony Victoire-Nijjar.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a book, just a repackaged radio 4 show

bought it because I loved anything by Rory Sutherland but a bit disappointed.
it's not a book, it's just a radio 4 show he did a while back. it's not even clear how much he was involved. That said the content is decent.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

classic sutherland

I could listen to Rory Sutherland explain things all day. which is good because he is normally happy to just keep talking.
One annoyance is that my TV licence already paid for this! and it's the second I've bought something from audible only to find it's a BBC radio program. This should be free for listeners in The UK.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lazy Editing

Rory Sutherland is incredibly insightful, and the content is broadly interesting.

As advertised, this is a series of short radio programmes (available freely on BBC Sounds - I assume that territory limits apply), However, when one chapter includes a distinctly separate radio show and the news headlines, you know that this was just lazily edited and clearly not quality checked,

This may have well been recorded from the radio onto three blank C90 cassettes and handed over in a school playground. Not at all the quality I expect from Audible.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Rehash of own work

I feel rather annoyed by this.
It’s basically 80-90% a shorter version of the book alchemy by the same author.
It should have a warning on purchasing

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6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Appears to be taken directly from his radio 4 series and even includes some radio 4 continuity as if it’s been recorded from the radio.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I bought a book not a podcast :(

Rory is just brilliant when he narrates as in Alchemy…
This format just doesn’t work for me - if I want to listen to a podcast I do but a book is different.
However brilliant marketing to get me to buy re-purposed work! Although I’ll be more careful next time….,

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