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Watch > Episode > Rory Sutherland - Alchemy: The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

Rory Sutherland - Alchemy: The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

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The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK where has co-founded a behavioral science practice. He works with a consulting practice of psychology graduates who look for “unseen opportunities” in consumer behaviour – tiny contextual changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make. Rory is a regular contributor to The Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and has published two books: The Wiki Man, and Alchemy, The surprising Power of Ideas which don’t make Sense.

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK where he co-founded a behavioural science practice. He works with a consulting practice of psychology graduates who look for “unseen opportunities” in consumer behaviour: tiny contextual changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make. Rory is a regular contributor to The Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and has published two books: “The Wiki Man” and “Alchemy: The Surprising Power Of Ideas Which Don’t Make Sense”.

In this seminal episode, Rory joins Brian Rose in the studio to discuss why human behaviour doesn’t run on objective realities, why AI lacks a necessary skill in marketing and why “a weed is simply a flower without an advertising budget”.

Born in 1965 in Kent, England, Rory Sutherland began his journey in the world of advertising with a unique blend of creativity and curiosity. He graduated with a degree in Classics from Christ’s College, Cambridge, an unconventional start for someone who would later revolutionise the field of marketing. Sutherland’s foray into advertising began when he joined Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s largest and most iconic advertising agencies.

Rory Sutherland’s tenure at Ogilvy & Mather proved to be a turning point in his career. Starting as a graduate trainee, he quickly rose through the ranks, showcasing his talent for combining creativity with a deep understanding of consumer behaviour. Sutherland’s ability to think outside traditional marketing paradigms and question established norms set him apart in an industry often driven by convention.

Rory Sutherland’s advocacy for behavioural economics in marketing has been a central theme in his career. Drawing inspiration from the fields of psychology and economics, Sutherland emphasises the importance of understanding the irrational and emotional aspects of consumer decision-making. He contends that traditional economic models fail to capture the complexities of human behaviour, and marketers must embrace the nuances of the human psyche to create impactful campaigns.

Sutherland’s influence extends beyond the boardrooms of advertising agencies. His engaging and thought-provoking TED Talks have garnered millions of views, making him a prominent figure in the realm of behavioural economics and marketing psychology. In these talks, he challenges the conventional wisdom of marketing, urging industry professionals to consider the “psychological value” of products and experiences.

As the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, Rory Sutherland has played a pivotal role in infusing behavioural economics into the agency’s approach. He advocates for creativity that goes beyond the purely rational and taps into the emotional and irrational drivers of consumer decision-making. This approach has led to numerous successful campaigns that resonate with audiences on a deeper level.

Rory Sutherland’s impact on the advertising industry is reflected in the paradigm shift toward recognising the value of behavioural economics. As brands increasingly understand the importance of emotional connections and the psychological aspects of consumer decision-making, Sutherland’s ideas continue to shape marketing strategies worldwide. His influence is felt not only in the boardrooms of advertising agencies but also in the broader business community.

Rory Sutherland, with his unconventional background and unorthodox ideas, has left an indelible mark on the world of marketing. Through his advocacy for behavioural economics, he has challenged the traditional notions of rational decision-making in consumer interactions. As the advertising industry continues to evolve, Rory Sutherland’s contributions serve as a guiding light, urging marketers to embrace the alchemy of consumer perceptions and create magical, impactful campaigns that resonate with the human psyche.

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer.
02:27 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
03:13 | Brian’s introduction.
03:47 | What has changed in the last four years of understanding human behaviour in relation to marketing.
05:06 | Americans feel they can’t recapture the American dream.
15:43 | Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump from a marketing perspective.
25:18 | Where marketing started.
30:03 | By what means marketing should now focus on making improvements to people’s lives.
35:45 | Human behaviour doesn’t run on objective realities.
39:25 | AI lacks a necessary skill in marketing.
51:14 | Every man has two reasons for doing things he does, a good reason and the real one
56:00 | A brilliant piece of advertising by Donald Trump
1:07:45 | The importance of a four-day week.
1:11:54 | Wealth is only meaningful if it increases the choices you can make.
1:14:51 | The marketing manipulation of the Brexit vote and the perception of Brexit now, versus reality.
1:25:05 | The placebo effect, the psychological effect of what we are being sold.
1:31:29 | To be brilliant you have to be irrational.
1:32:55 | The problem with logic is it kills off magic.
1:33:28 | Dare to be trivial.
1:35:59 | A weed is simply a flower without an advertising budget.
1:36:45 | Don’t design for average.
1:38:29 | The opposite of a good idea can also be a good idea.
1:42:34 | If there were a logical answer, we would have found it.
1:43:21 | Test counter-intuitive things only because no-one else will.
1:44:10 | How Rory views modern day marketing which seems governed by data driven logic.
1:50:07 | The whole advertising industry has totally lost the plot.
1:57:59 | Rory’s daily practice.
2:01:51 | What is Rory’s superpower.
2:03:55 | The best and worst days of his life.
2:08;55 | What scares Rory.
2:14:26 | What keeps him awake at night.
2:18:22 | Phone call to the 20 years old Rory Sutherland.
2:21:13 | Best advice he ever received about marketing.
2:22:45 | Success secrets.
2:23:13 | Advice to the 20 years old listening
2:25:01 | Brian’s summing up.

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