Adland: Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet

James P. Othmer, Author . Doubleday $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-52496-4

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.)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 204 pages - 978-0-385-53213-6
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7679-2897-7
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