Aug 26, 2021 • 49M

Rory Sutherland on alchemy and psycho-logic

More BS from the best in the ad business

Daniel Ross
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Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
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Hi friends,

I'm delighted that my guest in this episode of Paths Less Trodden is the inimitable Rory Sutherland. Rory is vice chairman of advertising agency Ogilvy Group and is an expert on consumer behaviour, trends and the influence of the internet. He analyses what branding means, what creativity is, and the value of persuasion over compulsion.

He is a speaker around the world from TED to his own behavioural science festival Nudgestock. He is also an accomplished author (he published 'Alchemy: The Magic of Original Thinking in a World of Mind Numbing Conformity' in 2018 and he writes regularly for The Spectator magazine).

Rory is one of the most respected creative thinkers in the ad industry. He once suggested to Microsoft that they enable people to share office documents on the internet. Hmmm. The idea was dismissed but Rory has nevertheless gone on to build a career out of the counter-intuitive and the original. With a razor sharp wit and intellect, he examines what influences our choices and why irrational thinking tends to win out.

This podcast is in two parts. In Part 1 here, we discuss:

  • The wonder of Red Bull

  • Whether our human biases are too deeply embedded for humans to change their decision making

  • Why the advertising industry is insufficiently creative

  • Why traditional economic theory still holds sway

  • And we conclude by dangling the question whether Rory himself is as susceptible as the next person to decision making biases

P.s. apologies in advance for a little background noise in the early part of the show. Home working and all that! The storyline is nevertheless absolutely clear.

Beyond Part 2, there will also be a short bonus edition for subscribers in which Rory shares his story of an unusual and unexpected 24 hours in a Qatari jail. Be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify to Paths Less Trodden to get these upcoming episodes.

And do of course sign up here to ensure Part 2 and the special Bonus edition land in your inbox. There is so much to learn.

Enjoy the show!

Daniel