Persuasion and Devotion, in Brand America

"As long as we become uncritical consumers who trust our irrational, visceral gut feeling over intellect, [marketers and advertisers] will be able to reach us through all the din of messages, and get us to do what they want us to do," said Barak Goodman, one of the producers of the new public television documentary "The Persuaders." The documentary "examines the advertising arms race that's left the American landscape carpet-bombed with marketing and promotional clutter," including guerrilla marketing, branding and product placement. One advertising executive interviewed in the film "found that devotion to brands and membership in cults inspired similar feelings of belonging and zeal."