The Persuaders

In The Persuaders, a 90-minute documentary, media and culture critic Douglas Rushkoff examines how changes in marketing practices are influencing U.S. culture and politics. The first part looks at how advertisers try to break through the clutter they have created, looking for new ways to reach potential consumers.The terrain has shifted, from a time when products were really different and advertisers had the job of telling what a product did, to today, when often the only real difference between items is their image, and the emphasis of advertising is on what the product means. This new marketing trend, in which marketers invite consumers to buy into an identity rather than simply purchase a product, is aptly illustrated by an in-depth look at the creation of an identity for Delta's new low-cost air carrier, Song. The second part of The Persuaders examines how new marketing techniques are being applied to politics.

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