The one sentence summary

Brands should do things and tell people, working with their community to recombine ideas constantly.


  • This is a guide to modern advertising ideas: what they are, why they are evolving, and how to have them.
  • It explains how to package ideas to attract the most attention, and provides a robust model for influencing human behaviour.
  • Among the issues grappled with are:
  • Paid attention: how much is it worth?
  • Media = bandwidth: people can only cope with so much at once.
  • Communication is persuasion, but attention is like water.
  • Brands are socially constructed ideas. Brand experiences build brandgrams in our heads. This is based on Daniel Schacter’s belief that memories are encoded in the brain as engrams – neuron-firing patterns.
  • All market research is wrong because we don’t know why we do what we do, and the gulf between claimed attitudes and intentions and actual behaviour is vast.
  • Customer service is a form of marketing. And technology is a medium.
  • But the medium isn’t the message any more.
  • The difference between content, media and advertising is vanishing.
  • Do things and tell people: that’s how to behave in a world of infinite content.
  • Talent imitates and genius steals: it’s a recombinant culture.
  • People will pay more for something they have paid attention to.
  • There can be only one strategy.
  • Brands are behavioural templates.
  • Integration is the interoperation of parts, not one idea in many places.


  • It’s a wide-ranging piece of work spanning communication theory, neuroscience, creativity, innovation, media history, branding, and emerging technologies.
  • It contains a toolkit to guide the reader though advertising, branding, and planning.
  • Liminal spaces are the places in between, where different cultures mix and interact, and where hybrid forms are created.
  • Brands can become social by listening, responding, nurturing, creating social objects, being transparent, and joining the conversation.
  • Do it with the community, don’t just say it.
  • Unleash creativity through constraint.


  • There’s no single point of view as such. It’s more of a useful primer for anyone needing to get up to speed with the full span of issues in modern communications.