Why Does the Pedlar Sing?

Why Does the Pedlar Sing?

What Creativity Really Means in Advertising.

Click here for a short talk and interview about my new book.

Throughout history, selling and entertainment have gone hand in hand – from the medieval pedlar and the medicine show, to generations of TV commercials featuring song and dance, comedy and cartoon animals, and today’s celebrities who launch their own multi-million dollar brands.

Yet the advertising business today seems reluctant to embrace its powerful links with popular culture. Misled by managerial myths of rationality and logic, and by a cultish misunderstanding of ‘creativity’, it risks forgetting how to appeal to the public. As a result today’s advertising is less liked – and less effective – than ever before.

But it is not too late. Advertisers and agencies who read this book can rediscover why the pedlar sings, and why people do buy from clowns.

Advertising could become popular, famous, and fun again – and more effective.


This is a fabulous book. …It is possibly the book I would most highly recommend to anyone in marketing.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy

Why Does the Pedlar Sing? published by Matador in February 2021, as paperback, e-book, and audiobook.