Review: Where the Suckers Moon

A recommendation from Michael Bierut in Design Observer led me to Where The Suckers Moon: The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign. For anyone who is interested in advertising and especially if you are in any sort of creative consulting field like design, I recommend it. Like many of the best journalism books, it reads like a novel, with rich detail and great characters.

Several times as I read it, I winced in recognition of the situation the ad guys find themselves in, namely the battles/trials between organizations: one that is set up to be maverick and creative, the other a conservative industry.

The book gets bonus points for a chapter featuring one of my design heroes Tibor Kalman (albeit one that has him in a pretty unflattering (yet truthful) light).

If you get this book, don’t read the back cover. It gives away a crucial plot point! (Grrr).

Spoiler alert! My only complaint is that, as the relationship devolves between the companies, it isn’t quite as detailed as the start of the relationship. I would have liked more reportage on how things broke apart. But that’s a quibble.

One thought on “Review: Where the Suckers Moon

  1. I picked this up on a whim from a bargain bin about 10 (?) years ago. I absolutely loved it and every time I discover that it’s a classic I feel fortunate to have stumbled on it. It’s a good story about consulting – about relationships between an agency and a client. I learned a good deal about the auto business as well.
    Slightly less stellar but good companion is Inventing Desire, which was written by a reporter with a lot of incredible access, about the heyday, of sorts, of Chiat Day. Probably cleaned up for press a lot more than the Suckers, but still good insights and characters.

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