Where the Suckers Moon: An Advertising Story

Randall Rothenberg, Author Alfred A. Knopf $25 (478p) ISBN 978-0-679-41227-4
This richly detailed book offers an enjoyable and insightful ride into the American world of advertising. Rothenberg, former advertising columnist for the New York Times, had behind-the-scenes access to Subaru's search for a new advertising agency and the ensuing campaign. He describes agencies vying with ideas and flash (one rented 36 new Subarus for its staff), traces the U.S. market share of the stolid Japanese import automobile and unravels the philosophies and tactics behind hype as agencies propose new Subaru slogans. After Wieden & Kennedy wins the account (``Subaru. What to Drive''), Rothenberg delves into the agency's history with Nike, and the complex process of creating advertisements. Animated by deft description and well-captured dialogue, the narrative canters along, though Rothenberg, despite having so much interesting material, should have trimmed a bit. The book concludes in 1993, with TV viewers giving thumbs down to the campaign and Subaru firing Wieden & Kennedy. Thus, the reader concludes: much effort and creativity in the ad world often goes for naught. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-679-74042-1
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