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About the book
  • Published: 7 May 2019
  • ISBN: 9780753556511
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00


The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

Leading Ogilvy ad-man Rory Sutherland looks at behavioural science and its emerging relationship with marketing and business, and what it tells us about people that people can't tell us themselves.

Why does it sometimes pay to make a product more difficult to use?
Why do people think orange juice is healthy?
Why should you put tables outside your café, even when it's raining?

Why is stripy toothpaste made stripy?

Leading ad-man, renowned cultural commentator and self-confessed greedy anthropologist Rory Sutherland offers stories and insights from an extraordinary career in advertising and further examples of consumer oddities to present an array of fascinating ideas that will improve the way we look at our lives, our work, and the world around us.

  • Pub date: 7 May 2019
  • ISBN: 9780753556511
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00

About the Author

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and the founder of the behavioural science practice. He writes the Spectator’s ‘Wiki Man’ column, presents series for BBC Radio 4, serves on the advisory board of The Evolution Institute, and is former President of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising). The IDM (Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing) awarded Sutherland an Honorary Life Fellowship. His TED talks have over 6.5 million views. He authored a collection of blog posts, interviews, tweets and reference materials, The Wiki-Man, in 2011. Alchemy will be published in 2019.

Praise for Alchemy

“This is a breakthrough book: Mother Reality makes sense in her own way. She yields her secrets to practitioners, almost never to academics - something psychologists, economists and non-skin in the game people, no matter what they say, are functionally unable to grasp. And the book is funny as hell: I smiled and laughed at every paragraph. Furthermore, this is the first such treatise written by someone who had true contact with reality via something called a P/L. And this is wonderfully applicable to about everything in life, from how to announce airplane delays to how to handle unsold opera tickets. Buy two copies of this book in case one is stolen.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, scholar and former trader; author of the Incerto.

“Reading Alchemy was, as its title promised, the process of turning paper and print into gold. Veins of wisdom regarding human functioning emerge regularly and brilliantly from the pages. Don't miss this book.”

Robert Cialdini, bestselling author of Influence, Yes!, The Small BIG and Pre-suasion

“Revelatory and entertaining”

The Sunday Times

“Deeply original”

Robert Trivers, evolutionary biologist and author of Deceit and Self-Deception

“Sutherland’s book touches on many facets of life, but all come down to the importance of “psycho-logic”, or non-rational factors, in how we make decisions and how problems can be solved”

CAMPAIGN magazine

“Rory Sutherland is one of the all-time great raconteurs, polymaths, and ad men. But this book shows his hidden depths. Within this fun, quirky, hilarious page-turner, he develops a profound critique of technocratic hubris and fetishised economics. Sutherland helps us rediscover the profound wisdom behind everyday human reasoning, and invites us to explore the magic that happens when we trust a bit less in our focus groups and optimization models, and trust a bit more in our creative eccentricity.”

Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist, author of The Mating Mind, Spent, and What Women Want

“Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant … wonderfully heretical, naughty and funny … Uncommon sense on stilts”

Jules Goddard, Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and co-author of Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense

“Buy this book for the footnotes alone… As a committed devotee of rationalism, who thinks there is not enough of it in this world, I rationally ought to hate this book. Instead I loved it. It’s full of great insights.”

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

“Sutherland captivates in a narrative full of intellectual treats that explain much of the behaviours in the world around us. This illogically logical read is a must read for anyone who is in the people business!”

Dilip Soman, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics, University of Toronto

“Stimulating and funny”

The Times

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