The classic work on how media affects us by the man who helped create the most famous political ad in television history.
Tony Schwartz drew on his unparalleled experience in the communications industry to give us The Responsive Chord, an engaging read and one of the seminal books on media. Famed for his “Daisy” campaign ad and a pioneering anti-tobacco PSA, Schwartz came to understand that most advertisers, politicians, and educators?in fact, almost all of us?use a model of communication long outmoded by the coming of electronic media: a model which has made us blind to many of the inner workings of modern communication.
In The Responsive Chord, he puts forth the resonance principle—that the meaning of an ad (or any other piece of communication) is not present in the ad itself but rather in how the ad relates to the vast array of knowledge and associations already held in the mind of the viewer, both factual and emotional. Thus, audience members do not merely digest a message; they are an essential force in creating it. Schwartz guides us through the many fascinating consequences. The implications for anyone looking to impart a message or influence decisions are enormous.
With so many people now getting their information through social media and “fake news” sites, it is crucial that we understand the strong forces by which these outlets act upon us and, yes, manipulate our ideas and actions. The Responsive Chord reveals these forces in a compelling, revealing read.
“I read The Responsive Chord as a freshman in college and it affected everything I've ever made since. Its message is practical and deep. I'd recommend it to anyone.”?Ira Glass, creator and host of NPR's This American Life
“Maybe reading this book will prepare us to think more critically about the way social media is used on, and against, us today.”?Douglas Rushkoff, author, Program or Be Programmed