One from the Sutherland list I can cross – By @GaryGaro1

By Gary Gerardy


One from the Sutherland list I can cross


At SCA you have the chance to assist not less than a hundred of masterclasses. One of them that I really remember was given by the very best Rory Sutherland. Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne, he was supposed to do a one hour speech, well he did almost three. And to be fair I rarely succeed to stay focus so long. That was as globally captivating as nichely striking pieces of knowledge he was giving us there. So when he came to tell us a book list he advised us to read I took notes without even thinking. Interesting note in here; none of the list is about advertising. They are all about economy and consumer behaviours. Because he said that it is well beautiful to read tons of advertising and creative book but if you don’t don’t even know how society works and how the consumer behaves why losing time to do campaigns with ineffective messages ? Quite logical you’re gonna tell me but doesn’t always seem to be so obvious when you look at everyday advertising you see in streets. Well one of the book he recommended us is « The choice factory – 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy » – written by Richard Shotton. As it says in the tittle it gives you 25 explanations in the way people act. Lets short every 25 reasons in a sentence.


  1. The Fundamental Attribution Factor – People are judged the way they react but without taking care of their background context (Stressed, in a rush, broken,…).


  1. Social Proof – People are more likely to choose a brand/product supported by the majority. (best-selling book/beer, most reviewed restaurant).



  1. Negative Social Proof – Not hard to understand I think.


  1. Distinctiveness – Say something you are the only one to say (When the world zigs, then zag).


  1. Habit – Shake consumers out of automatic behaviour + target them at important life change moments because more likely to break habits (move-in, wedding, birth, death,…).


  1. The Pain of Payment – The whole point is to make the consumer feels paying psychology less than the price. (cashless payment, comparison product/range, charm price)


  1. The Danger of Claimed Data – Don’t ask, observe. People don’t react as they pretend.


  1. Mood – Find a way to target people when they are in a positive mood.


  1. Price relativity – Make you brand appear better value by changing the comparison set. (introduce a higher-end line to give more value to the middle range)


  1. Primacy effect – First impressions shape the subsequent experiences (Be first, focus on the 1st people exp)
  2. Expectancy theory – Never neglect the shape of your product (satisfy people, surprise them)


  1. Confirmation Bias – identify your target and its level of enthusiasm. Adapt then your communication.



  1. Overconfidence – Never base yourself on previous experience to set up your next obvious success.


  1. Wishful Seeing – What we see is sometimes what we want to see (be sceptical and don’t accept everything for granted).



  1. Media Context – the placement of an ad affects its interpretation (the medium is the message)


  1. The Curse of Knowledge – Don’t make an audience, listen to it.



  1. Goodhart’s Law – don’t limit yourself to short term effect, look for the long term too (balanced set of measurement, allow room for discretion)


  1. The Pratfall Effect – How flaws make a brand more appealing



  1. Winner’s Curse – Be sure to talk at the right audience but also and mostly at the right moment and the right place.


  1. The Power of the Group – Prioritise group viewing moments


  1. Veblen Goods – Expensive impression is sexy


  1. The Replicability Crisis – Marketers should be concerned with profit, not certainty


  1. Variability – A bias that works in one situation might backfire in another.


  1. Cocktail Party Effect – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. (personalisation ads, localisation ads, …)


  1. Scarcity – The less there is the more you want it (Supreme).


Well even if a few of them look more than obvious the book is of course worthy to be read because of deeper explanation and actual brand examples.

Related SCABs

Go back

Student Application

  • Fill out the Application Form below to be a part of our next Award-Winning intake.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY