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*Book Reviews*

Twenty Ads That Shook The World

By James B. Twitchell

by Michael C. Gray

July 7, 2003

In Twenty Ads That Shook The World, James Twichell presents advertising as art.

Twitchell's premise is that our American culture is built around advertising. Most Americans under fifty can't identify a phrase from "great literature." But if you ask them what is in a Big Mac, and they'll reply, "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun."

He points out that ads plug into the human desires formerly "solved" by religion, to be "saved" from loneliness and "healed" of bad human conditions (dandruff, halitosis).

Here is a survey of the stories of advertising that has shaped our culture, including P.T. Barnum, Pepsodent, infomercials and Michael Jordan. (Did you know that our present day conception of Santa Claus was developed by Coca Cola? Did you know that diamonds weren't widely used for engagement or wedding rings until they were advertised as the best choice by DeBeers?)

In reading these stories, we can get greater insight into ourselves and how advertisers are persuading us to use their products.

Get a copy of Twenty Ads That Shook The World and enjoy your adventure of learning about ourselves.

Buy it on Amazon: Twenty Ads That Shook the World: The Century's Most Groundbreaking Advertising and How It Changed Us All.

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