Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Danger: genius at work

I was handed the dubious honour of introducing Rory Sutherland at a dinner in Manchester tonight to relaunch the MPA (the Manchester Publicity Association). I have to say, the man is a force of nature, a true genius of his field. I know all this because I read his Wikiman column in the Spectator. But tonight I saw him as one of the best business speakers I've ever seen. His energy, wit and ideas are mesmerising enough, but ability to weave a thread of a theory for an hour was very impressive indeed. However, he spoke for an hour, before dinner, and the technology broke. Twice. It was tough to keep the audience through that, but he did it.

One of the ideas he shared was framing. How different products sell in the context. Stick a Rolls Royce in a car showroom and it's a tough product to shift. Put it alongside Lear Jets and yachts at a luxury goods fare and it will.

Rather like a speech from a creative advertising man. At a conference, just before lunch, after a gentle build up - I'd pay to see that.

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