Hit Makers

Hit Makers

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

HC 79 .C6 T49 2017

“Nothing ‘goes viral.’ If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today’s crowded media environment, you’re missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history – of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults – that turns some new products into cultural phemonena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity if they fail to connect with the right network, and the consumers that matter most aren’t the early adopters but rather their friends, followers, and imitators – the audience of your audience.

In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has ‘good taste,’ and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold yet sneakily recognizable.

Every business, every artist, and every person looking to promote themselves and their work wants to know what makes some works so successful while others disappear. Hit Makers is a magical mystery tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and the most valuable currency of the twenty-first century – people’s attention.

From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from small Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no Pet Rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens and why things become popular.”
– publisher description

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The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising

The Real Mad MenThe Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising
by Andrew Cracknell

HF 5813 .U6 C732 2011

“Of all the places where people make money, advertising is one of the most exotic. It’s where people are paid to be crazy and applauded for being heretic. It’s where commerce meets showbiz and where hard money meets artistic whimsy. And in New York City in the late 1950s and through the 1960s – the era and location of AMC’s Mad Men – advertising reached its peak.

In a booming market, a punchy and proud new workforce of younger, multi-ethnic writers and art directors gorged themselves on a vibrant artistic and social scene. Then in 1959, a softly-spoken ad man by the name of Bill Bernbach, with his agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, launched the now iconic VW campaign and kicked off a dizzying decade of outstanding ad campaigns produced by people who knew they were making waves and making history.

In many ways they were similar to Don Draper, Roger Sterling, and Peggy Olsen; confident, driven and ambitious, they lived the three-martini life and worked the machine to their advantage. But also clever, creative, and streetwise, they outclassed and outhought the old advertising establishment and started a new way of thinking and behaving that spread across the newspapers, magazines, and TV screens of America and beyond.

The story of modern advertising starts here; with these real Mad Men – and women – of Madison Avenue who, in that small space, in that short time, created the most radical and influential advertising ever, sparking a revolution in the methods, practice, and execution of the business. This book is about those people, that work, and that era.” – publisher description