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Terry O'Reilly

Advertising Expert, Host of Under The Influence

Terry speaks to companies and organizations on the power of marketing. A very passionate (and humorous) presenter, he has a unique and insightful viewpoint on what it takes to truly connect with customers in this day and age. He talks about the power of big ideas, and how those ideas can change perceptions and behaviour. His themes are applicable to any sector, as he focusses on the thinking behind effective campaigns, out-of-the-box strategic insights, how to create a powerful identity, why brands matter (big or small), and how to cut through the data smog with ideas that are impossible to ignore.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The Power of Branding
This presentation explains why creating and protecting a brand is so vitally important, whether your company (or organization) is big or small. One of the most critical aspects of marketing is to differentiate your product – even when the category is filled with smart competitors. This talk helps your audience understand what a brand is, the enormous benefits branding can deliver, and how to carefully create a unique identity. This talk includes powerful examples of smart branding in a media-rich presentation that demonstrates each point with some of the best branding from around the world.

Don’t Outspend Them, Outsmart Them
Budget should never get in the way of great marketing. In a world where most advertisers don’t have huge budgets to trounce the competition, where small advertisers are up against deeper pockets, and where not–for–profit communicators struggle to make an impact, there is a way to gain remarkable returns. This presentation explains how to outsmart the competition, not outspend them. All it takes is a different mindset and a different kind of creativity. This presentation is media-rich and demonstrates amazing ideas from around the world from organizations that chose to spend creativity, not dollars.

Customer Service IS Marketing 
Customer Service = Profit. So many companies either don’t understand this rule, or need help implementing it. Great companies know it’s not enough to have customers leave satisfied – the key is to have them leave happy. That is a step beyond service. Superb customer service creates intense customer loyalty and fuels referrals. This talk helps companies or organizations to create emotional connections with customers. This presentation includes inspiring stories from around the world, and examples of incredible and unexpected customer service ideas that your audience can implement immediately.

The Power of Emotion in Marketing
This presentation explains why your customers have to feel your message, not just understand it. If you want to truly connect with your customers – and potential customers – you must employ Emotion in your marketing. Most communication is just flat information – aimed solely at the head. Yet we make 80% of our decisions with our heart. This talk helps your audience understand the difference between typical information-based marketing versus the powerful impact of emotionally-charged messages. The talk also shows remarkable examples from around the world where advertisers and not-for-profit organizations have used Emotion to achieve outstanding results.

If You Don’t Have A Story, You Don’t Have A Business
The company with the best story wins. This presentation is about the power of Storytelling. The smartest, most effective marketers in the world use storytelling to persuade. We are all hard-wired to love stories, and every product and service has a compelling story to tell. This talk helps your audience understand how to build stories and gives them the tools to start using storytelling in their own businesses. This presentation also includes powerful examples of Canadian and international marketing campaigns that used storytelling in surprising and enormously effective ways.


Ryerson University | Alumni Achievement Award

iTunes | Best New Podcast

  • Terry kept the audience riveted with his remarkable storytelling ability. The feedback from his conference session was that his speaking style and his visual presentation were punchy and impactful. The power of his speaking style is in his ability to draw the listeners in so his experiences become personal for them, too. He is always a popular draw, which is why we have had him speak at our conference more than once.

    - Colleges Ontario
  • It truly was a perfect message both professionally scripted and beautifully directed. You knocked it out of the park.

    - Managing Director, Senior Vice President, BMO Nesbitt Burns
  • Terry was fantastic...I’ve heard nothing but positive comments about his ability to infuse humour into a powerful message and really tap into what we in the agriculture industry can do to tell our story. He was a great pick for our audience.

    - CropLife Canada
  • Terry, you were a massive hit and the office was a buzz after your departure. You have given us a lot of inspiration and 'homework' which will be of great value. Thank you for the great job done.

    - President, Blake Jarrett & Company
  • The content and message of his presentation was right on target --- timely, relevant, clear and applicable --- with conference delegates overwhelmingly rating Terry’s session as “Outstanding!

    - President & CEO, Everlink Payment Services Inc.

Summary Profile

Terry began his career as Copy Chief for FM108 Radio in Burlington, Ontario, where he discovered that with meticulous planning and attention to detail, you can still fall flat on your face. With that learning, he went on to become an award-winning copywriter for Toronto advertising agencies Campbell-Ewald, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat/Day. He created campaigns for many of the top brands in the country, including Labatt, Molson, Pepsi USA, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Volkswagen, Nissan and the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television. A creative audio production company producing scripts, sound and music for radio and television commercials, Pirate grew to a staff of 50 with 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City.

Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for his writing and directing, and has worked with such notable actors as Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Newhart, Martin Short and Drew Carey. He even managed to create an advertising campaign for a group of nuns. (Good story there).

In demand as a keynote speaker, Terry talks about key marketing issues all companies and organizations face – from the critical need to embed emotion in marketing, to why customer service = profit, to how to change a negative perception, to why smart marketers don’t outspend their competitors – they outsmart them.

When he’s not creating advertising, he’s talking about it as the host of the award-winning CBC Radio One/Sirius Satellite/WBEZ Chicago radio show, Under The Influence, which is the follow-up to the hit series, The Age of Persuasion. The New York Radio Festivals awarded his show the Grand Prize as Best Radio Program in 2011 and 2012, and iTunes chose it as “Best New Podcast of 2011” and one of the Best Podcasts of 2015.