■ REVIEW: Sell
Fascinating trip down memory lane of advertising

Advertising plays a big role in our memories of growing up and this book looks at how New Zealand’s advertising industry has grown up with us.

Subtitled “tall tales from the legends of New Zealand advertising”, this is a look back at the history of advertising in New Zealand and the often larger-than-life characters who were a part of that industry over the years.

As much as we all probably like to think we are clever enough to not be affected by the clever ploys of copywriters and advertising gurus, those ads we grew up with stay with us forever: every time I spot a particular brand of cheese in the supermarket I start humming to myself that little ditty about those good blokes Ches and Dale, and then there’s Hugo and his fried chicken-loving sibling popping into my brain every time I happen past a certain chicken vendor.

Sure, the delivery techniques have changed greatly over the years and the methods of determining what might work have become much more polished, but all-in-all, the essence of a good ad has stayed the same. That’s the power of advertising: when done well it creates an idea that invades our minds and refuses to be evicted.

Sell takes a look back at the history of advertising in New Zealand and at the people who built that industry.

This is a fantastic trip down memory lane, with chapters on the people and the ad campaigns we all remember (including Spot the dog and the Fernleaf family).

It’s a fascinating look our an industry that has gone through huge changes and not so long ago was something of a wild west.

And while it will appeal to those with an interest in the advertising industry, it’s an easy-to-read taste of Kiwiana.

Sell, by Hazel Phillips (Penguin, RRP $45)

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