Terry O’Reilly

Host, Under The Influence

Author, Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture

Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for writing and has directed such notable actors as Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Newhart, Martin Short and Drew Carey. He has been a judge at the Cannes Advertising Festival in France and was named Radio Chairman for both the International Clio Awards in Miami and the London International Advertising Awards. When he’s not creating advertising, he’s talking about it as the host of the award-winning CBC Radio One/Sirius Satellite/WBEZ Chicago radio show, “Under The Influence,” which was the follow-up to the hit series, “The Age of Persuasion.”


Terry began his career as Copy Chief for FM 108 radio in Burlington, Ontario, then went on to become an award-winning copywriter for Toronto advertising agencies Campbell-Ewald, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat/Day. He created campaigns for many of the top brands in the country, including Labatt, Molson, Tim Hortons, Volkswagen, Nissan and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television. A creative audio production company producing scripts, sound and music for radio and television commercials, Pirate grew to a staff of 50, with 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City.


Terry was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the advertising industry, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from McMaster University. He has co-written a best-selling book called “The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture,” published in Canada by Knopf, and in the U.S. by Counterpoint Press in Berkeley.


In demand as a keynote speaker, Terry talks about key marketing issues to companies and organizations in all sectors.


He has a wonderful wife and three lovely daughters. Who like some of his work.

In unrelated news, Terry once turned a 1969 Airstream into a Mobile Recording Studio.



The Power of Branding

This presentation explains discusses the importance of creating and protecting a brand, whether your company is big or small.

One of the most critical choices in marketing is to differentiate your product – even when the category is filled with smart competitors. This talk helps your audience understand what a brand is, the enormous benefits branding can deliver, and how to carefully create a unique identity. This talk includes:


  • How branding can differentiate your product from all competitors
  • How a unique brand is comprised of your philosophy, your reputation, your history and your promise
  • How a brand recruits your customer’s heart
  • Why brands attract attention
  • How branding can redirect a company towards a younger, or completely new audience
  • How branding can create reservoirs of goodwill a company can draw on in difficult times
  • Why branding can help instill confidence in consumers for new product launches
  • How a strong brand can guide the wavering hand of customers in your direction during lean times
  • Why smart branding can create intense customer loyalty


This talk includes powerful examples of smart branding in a media-rich presentation that demonstrates each point with some of the best branding examples from around the world.


Don’t Outspend Them, Outsmart Them

Budget should never get in the way of great marketing. In a world where most advertisers don’t have huge budgets to trounce the competition, where small advertisers are up against deeper pockets, and where not–for–profit communicators struggle to make an impact, there is a way to gain remarkable returns. This presentation explains how to outsmart the competition, not outspend them. All it takes is a different mindset and a different kind of creativity. This talk includes:


  • How to see the world through fresh eyes, and recognize the opportunities others miss
  • How some of the smartest ideas cost the least amount of money
  • How inexpensive ideas can make the biggest impact on customers
  • Why affordable ideas can attract a lot of press
  • How small budgets can inspire great creativity
  • How small companies and not-for-profits can attract as much attention as bigger companies
  • Why emotion is the key


This presentation is media-rich and demonstrates amazing ideas from organizations around the world that chose to spend creativity, not dollars.


The Power of Emotion in Marketing

This presentation explains why your customers have to feel your message, not just understand it.


If you want to truly connect with your customers – and potential customers – you must employ emotion in your marketing. Most communication is just flat information – aimed solely at the head. Yet we make 80% of our decisions with our heart.


This talk helps your audience understand the difference between typical information-based marketing versus the powerful impact of emotionally-charged messages. This presentation includes:


  • The reasons why most customers ignore straight information – even when it’s vitally important to them
  • Where to look to uncover an emotional insight
  • How to use that insight to market to your greatest area of opportunity
  • How to aim for the heart, not the head
  • Why emotion creates intense customer loyalty
  • How to avoid the one pitfall of emotional marketing
  • Why emotion trumps all other communication tools


The talk also shows remarkable examples from around the world where advertisers and not-for-profit organizations have used emotion to achieve outstanding results.


The Power Of Storytelling

The company with the best story wins.


This presentation is about the power of storytelling. The smartest, most effective marketers in the world use storytelling to persuade. We are all hard-wired to love stories, and every product and service has a compelling story to tell. This talk helps your audience understand how to build stories and gives them the tools to start using storytelling in their own businesses. This presentation includes:


  • How storytelling can add immediate value to your product/service
  • How to harvest stories from your company/organization and your customers
  • How storytelling can communicate intangible qualities like trust, confidence and security
  • How stories can launch new products and maintain mature brands
  • How storytelling creates intense customer loyalty
  • Why the best storytellers are the best listeners
  • Why storytelling is one of the most cost-effective strategies in marketing


This presentation also includes powerful examples of Canadian and international marketing campaigns that used storytelling in surprising and enormously effective ways.


Changing The Conversation

Changing a negative perception is one of the most challenging tasks you can assign to marketing.


Maybe the public thinks your product is old and outdated. Maybe your brand has such a troubled history that you can’t attract new business. Maybe your service is perceived to deliver an undesirable benefit, when in reality, it delivers a highly appealing one. Maybe the tourism to your province or city is dropping because of a negative perception, or maybe rumours or myths are turning potential customers off.


The advertising industry has been changing perceptions and behaviour successfully for decades. Your audience will learn how to re-frame their thinking with insights and tools they can apply directly to their business by learning:


  • How to assess the problem and isolate the obstacle
  • How to use research to discover a leverage point
  • How to harness emotion & empathy to persuade
  • How to identify your greatest area of opportunity
  • How to use your leverage point to change a perception
  • How to change the conversation both externally and internally


This presentation contains powerful examples from a variety of companies and organizations that have tackled what seemed like insurmountable problems, and turned them around just by changing the conversation.


Darren Shaw Whitespark
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