Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head Book Cover Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head
Clive Veroni
House of Anansi Press
November 4, 2014

From the Publisher:

"In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, Clive Veroni’s Spin is a fascinating investigation of how the techniques of political strategists are being applied to the world of consumer marketing. In the early twentieth century political operatives did their work in the backroom, a shady place of secret deals and dark arts. By the middle of the century, the politicos were heading to Madison Avenue to learn the techniques of mass communication and persuasion. Today, they have moved from the dim light of the backroom to the bright lights of the war room, the central command for political campaigns. And along the way the pupil has surpassed the teacher. Aided by masses of data, sophisticated computer modelling, and smart manipulation of social media, political strategists are reshaping the way voters think. And act. Forward-thinking marketers are now adopting these techniques to convince consumers to buy their products. The strategies being used to influence our choices at the ballot box will soon be used to influence our choices in the grocery store. Drawing on political and marketing stories from North America, Europe, and beyond, Spin gives readers an insider’s view of this stunning turnaround"


Spin is an extremely enjoyable read. A talented communicator, Clive Veroni writes in a simple and clear style and does not hold his dry wit back from the narrative – making the book much more fun (particularly when it follows Ellul in the reading list.)

Veroni presents numerous real world examples of strategic communications successes – and failures – analyzing each case for strengths and weaknesses.  While drawing from the techniques used in political campaigning, Spin showcases work from a variety of fields, recommending tactics all communicators and organisations should be adopting in a Digital Age.

There is much to gain in the reading of Spin, but in particular the following stands out:

  • Operating on tighter deadlines, or in a sort of “war room” manner enables communicators to react with the speed required in a Digital Age. Most marketers have not caught up;
  • Build agile and diverse teams that have decision-makers built-in; and
  • For better or worse, people are involved in your brand. Finding ways to harness that engagement must go beyond crowd sourcing ads or new logos.

Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head is available for purchase at Amazon.


About Author

Alicia Wanless

La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age. Alicia researches how we shape — and are shaped — by a changing information space. With more than a decade of experience in researching and analysing the information environment, focusing on propaganda and information warfare, Alicia conducts content and network analysis, and has developed original models for identifying and analysing digital propaganda campaigns. Alicia is currently a PhD Researcher at King’s College exploring alternative frameworks for understanding the information environment.

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