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The Better Mousetrap

The Better Mousetrap

Brand Invention in a Media Democracy

Simon Pont

From £12.49

The Better Mousetrap is an inspirational examination of the digital age, addressing original thinking and fascinating new perspectives on brands, advertising and media in the 21st century.

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About the book

Advertising can be great. Great advertising, that is. Brands live or die on the power of their advertising and the advertiser's role is to build better mousetraps. But why do we love certain brands and passionately or indifferently reject the rest? What do our brands say about us? And why do we feel so compelled to use digital brands to say even more? Advertising has always been the hard sell and subtle hustle that piques our interest and gets us thinking I WANT that, but in a world that now moves with binary speed, the Brand Game is taking ever-new and remarkable turns in its pursuit of better and faster mice.

A provocative and insightful look at the chase, The Better Mousetrap lifts the lid on the brand and advertising strategies of leading companies who, in a world redefined by digital media, are setting the best traps for these ever quicker mice.

Table Of Contents

  • Section - ONE: In search of brand charisma;
    • Chapter - 01: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 02: Brands: thorny, gnarly, ever-so-twisty;
    • Chapter - 03: The brand organic;
    • Chapter - 04: Brands must behave, must woo;
    • Chapter - 05: ‘Same difference’: the counterpoint brand;
    • Chapter - 06: Reframing: originality and busting it up;
    • Chapter - 07: Brand duality: consider your brand’s Batman;
    • Chapter - 08: ‘Lose the nipples’: what’s in a logo?;
    • Chapter - 09: ‘Back in the day’: nostalgia brands and the retro sell;
    • Chapter - 10: ‘Yours digitally’: brand charisma’s second coming;
    • Chapter - 11: Sub-brand splendour;
    • Chapter - 12: Drop the ‘The’: what’s in a name?;
    • Chapter - 13: Gross assumptions, crumby conventions and the Churchillian view;
    • Chapter - 14: You are your own mousetrap;
  • Section - TWO: In pursuit of the accelerated consumer;
    • Chapter - 15: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 16: We are ALL consumers;
    • Chapter - 17: In strangers we trust;
    • Chapter - 18: The age of the accelerated consumer;
    • Chapter - 19: The brand communication model: a bit like a time-travelling DeLorean;
    • Chapter - 20: Allow me to proposition you;
    • Chapter - 21: Through a glass clearly;
    • Chapter - 22: Colour me happy!;
    • Chapter - 23: Curve, contour and come-on: how persuasive is sexual persuasion?;
    • Chapter - 24: Truth, lies and advertising;
    • Chapter - 25: Irrational reasoning, magpie desire and the watch from outer space;
    • Chapter - 26: ‘With great power...’: advertising to our inner superhero;
    • Chapter - 27: The big H;
    • Chapter - 28: Buying wine, getting her to drink it and other Adland misdemeanours;
  • Section - THREE: Dawn of a media democracy;
    • Chapter - 29: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 30: ‘Digital’: what it is, what it isn’t;
    • Chapter - 31: Web 3.0: regime change;
    • Chapter - 32: Transmedia... in a Tube card;
    • Chapter - 33: Is social media just a bit antisocial?;
    • Chapter - 34: A pop culture where everyone’s invited;
    • Chapter - 35: The second fundamental: avoid launching ghost ships;
    • Chapter - 36: Mobile: the new dependency;
    • Chapter - 37: Teen alienation is so analogue;
    • Chapter - 38: Efficiency and effectiveness: fish with feet sidestep moving trees;
    • Chapter - 39: Shifting icons;
    • Chapter - 40: Ed Burns, Tribeca and the film-making revolution;
    • Chapter - 41: The fabric of things


Gloriously smart. Some of the sharpest thinking I've read for a while; immensely enjoyable
Faris Yakob, Chief Innovation Officer, MDC Partners

From brands past to present, and with a firm eye on their digital future, Pont takes readers behind the curtain of brand-land. Today's Mad Men will either toast him or hate him for it.
John Paul Cadman, Group Strategy Director, MEC

Simon can grab complex ideas by the scruff of the neck and shake them until they explain themselves simply
Samantha Thomsett, reviewer, B2B Marketing Magazine

Pont tackles media and advertising themes with pace and passion. The ideas come fast; the thoughts are vivid and accessible. The Better Mousetrap might just do for brands what Gladwell did for Social Sciences and Levitt did for Economics.
Judd Labarthe, Former Executive Planning Director, Argonauten G2

The Better Mousetrap is a scalpel-sharp examination of our relationship towards brands, why we love them, hate them, or possibly feeling nothing at all.
Philip Smith, Head of Content Solutions, Brand Republic Group, Haymarket Business Media

The Better Mousetrap does what the best non-fiction is capable of - providing insight into the world around us, and by extension, the feelings inside us. The articulation is impressive.
Tom George, Chairman UK and Northern Europe, MEC

Simon has achieved the near impossible, opening up the Ad world's evolving complexity, taking aim at this fast moving target and hitting dead centre, with smart, perceptive and holistic observation and comment. A must read!
Greg Grimmer, Founder, HDMG

The Better Mousetrap is an astute and gripping critique on brand and cultural anthropology. Page by page your inner voice will be saying fascinating, and by the end you'll be reminded of why you chose the brand-business in the first place. A truly compelling read.
Stefan Terry, Founder, Leap of Being, former Managing Partner, Heavenly Group Ltd

With the cunning more akin to a wild cat than a mousetrap, Simon takes on crowd sourcing, sandwich bars and Spotify as he explains why consumers need to be offered more than antiquated promotional messages in the digital age.

Simon has somehow managed to write two books in one: an entertaining page-turner about the inner lives of brands, and a thought-provoking set text for professionals.

Pont's writing is entertaining and full of thought-provoking case studies. His willingness to share his own successes and failures adds authenticity and a good grounding for the theories he presents. [...] Quips throughout, such as: 'stay with me here, I'd like the company', create a strong author's voice and a glimpse of the charisma he believes brands need within the new 'media democracy'. [...] A well-written, self-effacing gallop through brand success, failure and evolution. (4* review)

The Better Mousetrap is, as the title implies, sneaky in a good way...while Pont's prose entertains, his insights steal up behind you. This reader came away learning more than he'd planned.

It's easy for modern-day marketers to get distracted by new technologies, fads and fripperies, in this ever-evolving, complex, digital world. 'The Better Mousetrap' is an elegant reminder of the danger of such distractions and that while focus and discipline are key to success, business and brands cannot stand still and must be willing to innovate and do something new to attract the consumer.

Simon has deconstructed the complex subject of what a brand is in an insightful and entertaining way, bringing his own experience in the advertising business to bear and giving a unique viewpoint on communication challenges in a digital age. A must read.

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749466213
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd November 2012
  • Paperback
  • Format: 232x156
  • 296 pages

About the Author

Simon Pont is a British writer, commentator and brand-builder. He is the Chief Strategy Officer at Starcom MediaVest Group, and an EACA Effies judge. His agency career includes being part of Saatchi & Saatchi and Naked Communications, the pioneers of Communications Planning. Hollywood movie studios, Icelandic investment banks, British chocolate bars and Middle Eastern airlines figure among his time on the inside of Adland. He is also the author of Digital State: How the Internet is Changing Everything, (Kogan Page, 2013).

Simon Pont

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