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OBD: Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

The world is more branded than ever before: Americans encounter anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 ads a day, and increasingly brands vie for our attention from insidious angles that target our... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Thumbs up!

Having seen the author plug the book on 'The Colbert Report' I immediately thought it would be a book I would like to in Ireland I had to import the book at extra cost...and having just finished reading it 10 minutes ago I can say it was well worth it. I would recommend this book to anyone at all interested in how the companies of the world are infesting our daily lives with constant advertising and the ways in which they try to get under our skin to persuade us to buy their products. The book being a little on the short side,would be my only quibble.

It's a Brand World

And Lucas Conley is none too happy about it as he warns us in OBD. Less R and D is being spent on improving a product. Why spend the do-re-mi when you can just change the shape,say, of the bottle it comes in, making it cooler but not better.Exploit emotion. The brain thinks 3,000 times faster with an emotional charge than a logical one. Go to an Apple store and you'll see his point. Or quoting Daniel Gilbert, "Experiences don't hang around long enough to disappoint you. What you have left(after a visit) are wonderful memories."(Or look at the testing done showing that people love Pepsi, in a blind taste test but when it is mano a mano(can to can), the visual of the Coke can actually lights up a part of our brains.) But the book really excels when he talks about what sounds like a vast conspiracy. Smells emanating from the shelves of grocery stores? Yes, put there to get you worked up. And smells for kids on put on the shelf consistent with a child's height. And P and G has organizations that give free samples to regular, next door folks in exchange for them hitting you up on the value of pampers or the sparkle to be found only in a certain toothpaste.Like a sci-fi movie. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must drive home in the Ultimate Driving Machine, fire up the Viking Range, get out the Gordon Ramsey cookbook, and get ready for the Fourth.

entertaining commentary on what we have become

As someone who travels often, I require reading material that distracts m from the boredom of the airport drone. This book is poignant, funny and revealing. It held my attention throughout. The author, Lucas Conley has done an excellent job of pointing out how we have deviated from a society of quality seeking individuals to a mass of the product obsessed. It is all around us, on the subways of New York City where everyone is plugged into the latest i-gadget, to the streets of Bangkok where booths are jammed with fake goods. All this is clearly a reflection of our obsession with the appearance and perceived coolness of the brand rather than the caliber of the product itself. Conley does an excellent job of calling our attention to the error of our ways, and does so in a humourous and captivating manner. I would highly recommend his book to anyone.

a very talented Author doing his thing

Conley has done well in providing overdue business and cultural criticism for our quick fix, near-sighted economy. He cleverly points out that, over the last decade, business has become obsessed with branding their products with imagery, lifestyles, and experiences in an effort to fool consumers into loyalty and irrational buying habits. This obsession has sacrificed a company's attention to innovation and for a product's quality improvement. To sell your product, it isn't about making something useful or effective anymore. Companies are convinced that the storylines, ideology, and the lifestyle they invent for their product will do the selling. If these methods become ineffective, the company ignores the need to improve the product or create something more advanced as it's far easier to just "rebrand" the lifestyle and the experiences that the product is supposed to bring you. All this is done in an attempt to overwhelm emotion and discourage reason. Conley has framed a vibrant discourse for the zero-sum game playing out between branding and innovation, emotion versus reason, and the quick fix versus long-term solutions. He thoroughly outlines the branding disorder by providing plenty of convincing examples from the business world of Proctor Gamble to the cityscapes of New Orleans and Cincinnati. A persuasive criticism develops as we find out that it's not just business that loses but the consumer and the public at large as well. The book encourages further thought and discussion as it branches into complicated issues including the nature of buying and selling, globalization, and our "just saying it makes it true" culture. A must read for the business tycoon or just the economic well-wisher, reading the book produces an immediate 'brand' new awareness of the ads and economy around us.
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