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Bang!  By  cover art

Bang!

By: Linda Kaplan Thayer,Robin Koval
Narrated by: Deborah Marlowe
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Publisher's summary

The founders of one of today's hottest, most innovative advertising agencies explain how to ignite the kind of marketing explosions that will capture customers' attention.

Linda Kaplan Thaler, the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, is the brains behind a host of memorable and highly successful ads, from the irresistibly sentimental "Kodak moment" campaign to Herbal Essences' "totally organic experience" to, most recently, the irrepressible AFLAC duck. 

In Bang!, Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval of the Kaplan Thaler Group, currently ranked as the fastest-growing ad agency in the country, offer the kind of out-of-the-box thinking and proven strategies that marketers anywhere can use to create loud, clear, attention-grabbing messages about their products and services. 

Presenting an arsenal of "big bang" ideas, the authors discuss how to create a memorable publicity hook and how to design attention-grabbing packaging that taps into consumers' innermost desires. They interweave entertaining accounts of their successes and failures, as well as those of other companies to suggest specific ways to establish an atmosphere conducive to innovative breakthroughs - why having "enough" time to work on a project can be a disadvantage, and why having a small staff in a cramped space is often the best way to come up with big ideas. 

Full of colorful anecdotes and inspiring accounts of campaigns that have catapulted revenues and increased market shares, Bang! shows how to create a marketing campaign that rises above the banal barrage of commercials to create a genuine marketing explosion. 

©2003 Linda Kaplan Thayer and Robin Koval (P)2003 Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Although the author's advice is targeted primarily toward businesses and other publicists, the glitzy anecdotal writing is witty and informative enough to appeal to those interested in advertising and popular culture." (Publishers Weekly)
"If Al Gore had had this book in 2000, George W. Bush wouldn't be sitting in the White House." (James Carville, author and Democratic strategist)
"Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval 'get it' from every angle. This [audio] book is full of extraordinary insight on effective message delivery." (Gordon Bethune, Chairman and CEO, Continental Airlines)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

What a disappointment!

After seeing a rating of 4.3 stars on Audible.com, I happily downloaded the book expecting a treat. What a disappointement! I've been an Audible subscriber for some time now, and this has been the first book I haven't finished. I got about one quarter of the way through and deleted it.

Pros: Some good stories and ideas (but nothing that you couldn't find in any other marketing book of higher quality).

Cons: As another reviewer suggested, the author merely gives examples of successful ads and tries to explain how they worked because they went against the grain and got a lot of attention. Well, I could have told you that! The real problem lies in the author's conclusions. The underlying theme seems to be: "Do the opposite of whatever you think will work best." If you think an ad is tasteless, inappropriate, and irrelevant, then run it because it will be a great success. If the ad has nothing whatsoever to do with the product, then it is more likely to succeed. For example, one of her "bright" ideas is: "You must forget about what makes sense...illogical thinking means that when you're asked to promote a bottle of water, you realize that water is the last thing you should focus on."

Conclusion: I give this book a rating of 1.5 stars. Don't waste your time on this book.

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 03-19-05

Bust!! Wasted my money on Bang!!

As an engineer turned entrepreneur, I thought this audio book would be of great value to me. I was wrong.
While this agency has great creative, the book is light on content, with asides that are consistently distracting and of little or no value. Platitudes like "Creative people need special working environments" or "flat structures are better for small teams" seem to make up the bulk of the management advice.
Finally, as a small businessperson, hearing about how "we won a 15 M dollar contract for advertising" and not "we generated 50 M dollars worth of new business" through campaign x reminded me why a typical marketing exec will be late on our list of hires.
Avoid this book, and watch an AFLAC commercial instead--the duck can communicate more about marketing than this book.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars