Gad Saad's "The Consuming Instinct" is good news for a growing population of modern, unbiased marketers around the world, but bad news for all conservatives lurking in business schools and universities, dominating the same world.
Yes, it is controversial to the majority guarding the high fences between biology and psychology, and believing in God and Maslow. Saad is one of the few breaking new ground for marketing by applying evolutionary psychology to every aspect of human life and activities.
You may have suspected much of this. There is an abundance of jokes and stories about the quest for status, and what is typical male or female out there. But here Gad Saad can refer to scientific evidence stating that we were right. He tells us that we were not born as blank sheets, but equipped with a rich assortment of instincts - like all other animals. References and cases are abundant. The style is fluent, easy to grasp.
That he is telling us that we are animals is refreshing, but controversial, of course. Distant godfathers are Darwin and Freud. If you wonder why it took so long, Maslow may be the explanation. He was embraced by the marketing pioneers in the middle of the 20th century, being satisfyingly harmless, stating that our highest aspiration in life is self-actualization. Which all marketers have believed since then.
Richard Dawkins has told us that the meaning of life is to transport genes from our parents to our offspring. Gad Saad proves it referring to music: "[...] roughly 90 percent of songs have mating as their central theme [...]". "If Abraham Maslow were correct that the apex of human needs is self-actualization, we should find more songs about reaching one's potential as a human being and fewer about sex!"
From my own experience I recognize the problems he encounters with many audiences when introducing his findings. The marketing establishment is apparently scared stiff of any radical ideas. Because of this, I do recommend this book to everyone who is interested in how we live and why we do things the way we do. I sincerely hope this book will find its way into the curriculums of many business schools and universities around the world.