Radio host and advertising expert speaks at TRU

Terry O'Reilly talked about solving problems by using counterintuitive thinking

Terry O’Reilly, advertising expert and host of the CBC show Under the Infl uence was at TRU last Wednesday to talk about fi nding solutions by thinking outside of the box. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

On Wednesday, Feb. 7 TRUSU welcomed CBC radio host and advertising expert Terry O’Reilly to speak at the Common Voices Lecture series. O’Reilly spoke candidly about the path to success and being open to embracing the obstacles.

Terry O’Reilly has decades of advertising experience with his time writing and creating ads. In his lectures he often lends a hand in connecting the dots when it comes to popular culture, human nature and their effects on communication.

In 1990, O’Reilly co-founded Pirate Radio and Television; a creative audio production company tasked with producing scripts and music for radio and television commercials.

O’Reilly has worked with many notable celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres and Martin Short; to name a few. He has also been awarded with three Lifetime Achievement Awards (American Marketing Association, Advertising and Design Club of Canada, and the Television Advertising Bureau).

Much of O’Reilly’s speech pushed the audience to look at problem solving not as a task to create a whole new situation to solve it but rather to use the obstacle to as the main tool.

“The solution to the problem is always inside the obstacle,” said O’Reilly. “So the trick is to dismantle the obstacle piece by piece.”

O’Reilly spoke with great canter and used his humor and personal anecdotes to keep the fully packed Campus Activity Centre Grand Hall engaged.

The speech wasn’t just the preachings of O’Reilly’s personal experiences, but rather using real life advertising examples that the general public would recognize.

O’Reilly shared the tips that he learned along the way, including “breaking the rules creatively” and to make people feel something from your message.

The key message O’Reilly shared with the mixed audience is to find solutions outside of your confines. O’Reilly also spoke of a lesson his mentor shared with him years ago.

“Problem solving is like doing ballet inside a phone booth,” he said. “Zig while the rest of the world zags.”