Why'd I Buy That? Is a bi-weekly advertising-themed podcast hosted by Ryan Croker and Abraham Sloan. In each episode, we explore and examine the impulses and influences behind the things we buy-the principles and pitfalls, the economics and execution, the history, stories and psychology that make ads and advertising so powerful. If you've ever been curious about anything from packaging design to radio jingles, Why'd I Buy That? provides an entertaining and insightful look at an industry that permeates every element of modern life.
Episode 18: Mascot Mayhem
Have you been face to face with a cereal box lately? If so, you probably saw a brand mascot staring right back at you. In this episode, Ryan and Abe take an in-depth look at brand mascots, including their history, effectiveness, and the many, many controversies that surround some of them. They’ll take a brutal mascot quiz, enjoy living high on the oat lifestyle, and fall under the deadly gaze of Count Chocula. Notable quotes: “If you’re going to read one encyclopedia article, you’re going to read Q.” “The hardest part was finding a cow with good enough penmanship.” “Every Quaker Oats employee walks around with a pocket filled with oats.”
Episode 17: The Prussian Potato Problem
Have you ever seen an ad and thought to yourself, “I would buy this product if only everything about the advertising were totally different?” Then you, Sir or Madam, are the target audience for a rebrand. In this episode, Abe and Ryan discuss rebranding, including both super successes and failtastic failures. They’ll chug a new soda flavor, smell like a towel-clad man, and visit Germany multiple times. Notable quotes: “They’ve got a whole lot of sag.” “They would artificially add an en-blackening agent to the exhaust.” “Let’s cool it with the celebrity burnings.” “Most of today’s marketing ills could be solved with armed guards.”
Episode 16: Super Bowling You Over
15. Super Bowling You Over: Whether you’re in the middle of football season, or you live in a land where football has nothing to do with large men knocking each other over, you can appreciate the power of the Super Bowl when it comes to advertising. Ryan and Abe tackle (get it?) some of the numbers behind the event and discuss some of the biggest super bowl ads of all time. Notable Quotes: “Scott Joplin wheeled his piano into a muddy field. And his shirt came off and everyone was really scandalized.” “That was their logo on the helmet. A pacifier and some drugs.”
Episode 15: Athlete Meets Product
Sports Endorsements have a long and storied history, one that Abe and Ryan are happy to discuss in excruciating—and hilarious—detail. They’ll tell the tale of baseball legend Honus Wagner, throw in a few cautionary tales regarding athletes who lost their endorsements, and wrap up by grilling some diagonal meats. Notable quotes: “Baseball coaches in the 1890’s LOVED latin-based puns.” “Rough Hair Removal stood with him.” “Man, the horizontal grill. What’s up with that?”
Episode 14: Cognitive Bias Returns!
Just when you thought you were out, Ryan and Abe pull you back in. This time, they dive deeper into the world of cognitive bias, specifically in-group bias and the bandwagon effect. They’ll campaign for Eisenhower, shave numerous body parts, and wade into the PC vs. Mac vs. Samsung debate. Notable quotes: “Penguins favor each other.” “He’s got the prescription for some happiness.” “You’re the stodgy parent in this situation.” “He finds himself wearing a codpiece and tights.”
Episode 13: Everything is Falling Into Place(ment)
Have you ever wondered why your favorite product appears in your favorite movie? If so, you need a lesson in product placement courtesy of Abe and Ryan. In this episode, they dig into the story of E.T., wear some sunglasses with Tom Cruise, and spend some time lost on a deserted island. Notable quotes: “Aliens are incredibly gullible” “That’s a very nerdy tangent, that I’m glad we went on.” “In the 50’s there was a surplus of Raymonds.” “If you’re a brand, just throw a bunch of stuff in the ocean.”
I literally LOL when listening. It’s awkward cuz I listen at my desk and draw looks.
An Entertaining “History of Advertising” Podcast
Each episode centers around a single advertising theme—with historical examples, anecdotes, and discussion of how it is relevant today.
The hosts are engaging. The topics are well-researched. The length is easily digestible. Also, I love how some episodes have unique cover art.
Well written, produced, and presented diversions into the world of advertising. I always learn something new and I’m a genius—so I’m hard to impress.