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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intellectual treasure hunt..., 17 July 2007
This review is from: Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature (Hardcover)
Before I begin to write this review, I must confess two things; firstly, that I work in advertising (and this book has been highly touted by that community) and that naturally I'm a bit distrustful of books that are recommended to me by the wider audience - I tend to like less populist works.

Disclaimer out of the way, I think I can say, without hesitation, that it doesn't matter which industry you work in; this book is relevatory. Everyone should read it.

At the heart of the debate is Mark's belief that we are, at heart (in his words) 'a super-social ape'. We exist to converse, to chat, to gossip. Whole social movements can be explained by utilising this core theory.

Take his thinking on depression - it is when the individual isolates himself from the herd that this condition is most evident, a social malfunction which is also present in apes.

Having defined the 'I' vs 'Us' debate, Mark moves on to discuss the implications of Herd Marketing - how marketeers have sometimes framed their thinking wrongly, and why seemingly spot on techniques have failed.

I rarely read books emotionally, but Mark's chapter on 'Just Believing' had me punching the air. On the surface, it sounds like a straightforward concept, but the amount of thinking and examples to get to that point was extraordinary. Being interesting and standing for something is someone anyone could say, but such was the thinking already written that you can't help agreeing, regardless of any skepticism you may have beforehand.

Finally, if this review says anything, it's to note that the quality of this book is such that I've been very slowly reading it, dipping in and out, like a good meal. Reading it all at once would mean you'd miss out on many of the ancedotes and examples.

So buy it. And savour it.
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Location: Worcester, England

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