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Worth Watching: Frontline's The Persuaders

Mike Santoro

frontline_persuadersIn honor of the mass consumerism occurring this Thanksgiving weekend, I went back to a great documentary on mass marketing - The Persuaders.  The film is now five years old, and at times it seems like it's from a different era. It's amazing how quickly the Internet and now social media is changing how brands reach consumers. Yet at it's core marketing hasn't changed.

The Persuaders presents interesting insight into persona building, market research, how language can affect product perception, and how to effectively pursue 1to1 marketing and microtargeting, though in this film it's called narrowcasting.  There's even a great case study in brand marketing gone wrong. The launch of Song Airlines is prominently featured and has since proven that pushing an intangible brand message will result in failure without tangible results.

Watch The Persuaders online at It's definetely worth spending 45 minutes watching the documentary, just for the stories themselves. But for any marketer it's an interesting dive into both the art and science of brand building.