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The Happy Soul Industry Paperback – August 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Inkwater Pr; 1st edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592993524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592993529
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Fun stuff! I can't wait to see the movie. Can I write the screenplay?' --John Coveny, Co-Executive Producer/Writer, 'The Closer'

About the Author

A copywriter by trade, Steffan is perhaps best known for his provocative work on behalf of Altoids, The Curiously Strong Mints. Other highlights of his career include coauthoring the famous 'Not your father's Oldsmobile' campaign for General Motors and penning a commercial for Heinz featuring a teen-aged Matt LaBlanc. The spot won a Gold Lion at Cannes. (It also launched Joey's career, which he now appears to be un-launching.)

Now Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of one of the world's largest advertising concerns, Euro RSCG Chicago, Steffan is responsible for overall creative leadership and quality of the creative product. Prior to joining Euro RSCG, Steffan was Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of LBWorks (a Leo Burnett company), and earlier still Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett USA.

He is the recipient of advertising's most prestigious awards including a Kelly Award, Best of Show, and gold and silver awards at competitions such as the One Show, the Addy Awards, and the Cannes Lions Festival.

Steffan's short stories have been included in the 1994 and 1995 editions of New Voices in Poetry and Prose. His first novel, The Last Generation, was published by Inkwater Press. The story was later optioned by Touchstone Television for a TV series.

More About the Author

Fellow Creatives, like many of you I have been writing all of my life. Especially advertising copy. But not only advertising copy.

In high school, I was Features editor for the Lane Tech Warrior as well wrote a column on popular music. My first story was about Judas Priest.

At the University of Wisconsin, I majored in film and creative writing, as well as wrote for the university's conservative and liberal newspapers. Anything for a byline, right?

My short stories have appeared in past editions of New Voices in Poetry and Prose. My first novel, The Last Generation, was published by Inkwater Press. The story was later optioned by Touchstone Television for a TV series.

My latest novel, published in 2008 (Inkwater), The Happy Soul Industry is a modern fable about good and evil. In it, God hires an advertising agency to market Heaven and all hell breaks loose!

Please visit my blog, Gods of Advertising or my twitter address.

As Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Euro RSCG Chicago, my clients include Barilla, Kraft, Valspar Paint, Jim Beam and more. I'm responsible for the overall creative leadership and quality of the creative product.

Prior to joining Euro RSCG, I was Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of LBWorks (a Leo Burnett company), overseeing creative for their full client roster including Altoids, Gateway, Lexmark and Maytag. Before that I served as Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett USA, and was a member of Leo Burnett's Creative Management Board.

I am the proud (and lucky) recipient of advertising's most prestigious awards including a Kelly Award, Best of Show in the Addys and gold and silver Lion at Cannes.

A copywriter by trade, I'm perhaps best known for my work on behalf of Altoids, The Curiously Strong Mints.

Other moments in my career include co-authoring the "Not your father's Oldsmobile" campaign for General Motors and penning a commercial for Heinz catsup featuring a teen-aged Matt LaBlanc. The spot won a gold lion at Cannes.

In 2008, I received Hall of Fame honors for the Altoid's campaign at the Obie Awards in Miami.

Advertising runs in my family. My father, Larry Postaer is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of RPA in Los Angeles. My brother, Jeremy last served as Group Creative Director at JWT in New York. My mother, Christine Montet did time at FCB (art buyer) before retiring in 2004.

I live in Chicago with my wife, Susan and three young daughters. We have two dogs: Bo & Mo. My eldest daughter wants a horse.

Customer Reviews

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See all 34 customer reviews
Great idea, great story and obviously well written.
Joseph A. Dapier
Don't get me wrong here, this is a very funny book, and will no doubt be made into a very funny movie, but knowing Hollywood, they'll avoid the serious questions.
George Parker
This is a book that's easy to read, and definitely a page-turner.
Julie Glassman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I began reading Steffan Postaer's blog when he went to Cannes in 2009. I didn't know that much about him, then learned after some quick research that he was the mastermind behind Altoids' "Curiously Strong" effort and a co-creative behind the "Not your father's Oldsmobile" campaign. Without knowing it, I was already a fan.

When I learned he had written a couple books, one being, "The Happy Soul Industry," I picked it up and knocked it out in a couple of sittings, unable to put it down. It's an engrossing, great read. My only qualm is that it ended quickly...leaving me with the question, "What happens next?"

Briefly, the gist of the novel is that God decides to choose an advertising agency to promote goodness. In an effort to do so, God's emissary, an angel, changes the lives of those with whom he interacts,and ultimately himself. The characters are easily understood as they question themselves, and the world around them.

There's a point being made by the novel, and that point is: There's a dark and sordid underbelly to the advertising industry that isn't openly spoken about; it exists, but is largely ignored. The Happy Soul Industry draws this underbelly into the light without delving too deeply, highlighting that even those who start with the best intentions get sucked in, one small sacrifice at a time. Some are able to justify themselves while others pay a moral price.

The Happy Soul Industry is like an amusement park ride; fast, exciting, and definitely worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Jay on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Happy Souls Industry will make you want to believe in something. What you do with that is entirely up to you. A thoughtfully fun read. It's hysterical. The story begins a little sketchy. Probably because it has to cover centuries of setup in a small space. But then, as with any good story, I got caught up, literally. One minute I'm struck with longing for an advertising era that would not have included my type. The next I'm laughing aloud at another one of the character's antics. The main character, David reminds me of me. Naive. Idealistic. Only he catches up fast for having been out of it for almost a century. Sometimes he catches up too fast. Either way, he seems to enjoy himself.

There are a lot of sensitive, thought-provoking topics covered. Religion. Greed. Avarice. Sex. Racism. Class. Even the volatile, touchy minorities-in-adverting subject. It may be too much to tackle, yet the author doesn't preach. Well, only a tiny bit. Again, coverage of advertising greats like Leo Burnett and David Ogilvy -- creatives who worked before the process, the committee, the group think invaded -- left me wistful for a chance to do great work. Was advertising ever so great? I once believed it was.

Happy Souls Industry really does leave me wishing I could believe again. It's harder to work so hard without faith.The Happy Soul Industry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie Glassman on February 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Someone once told me that if I pursued a career in advertising it would "suck away my soul." That the people are terrible, that my creativity would be suppressed, and well, all that kind of stuff.

What I like about The Happy Soul Industry is that it actually embraces all of these stereotypes, and stays comedic and positive. Yes there are screwed up people in the advertising business. Women who use sex to advance their careers. Ad execs who drive SUVs like they own the road because they are rich and feel entitled. But it's hilarious.

By so perfectly nailing these stereotypes, Postaer makes a greater statement about the stereotypes themselves - that they're just that: stereotypes. The choice is yours as to whether you let these stereotypes suck away your soul or whether you find them a source of creative inspiration, as Postaer did, and as I, the reader, did.

The plot is well structured, and unfolds in unexpected and whacky ways. This is a book that's easy to read, and definitely a page-turner. The characters and events are so well-described that you almost see them - and maybe someday you will. My fingers are crossed for the day this book gets made into a movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Dapier on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's a book that reads like a film you can't take your eyes off of. Great idea, great story and obviously well written. It's also a scathing commentary on the darker side of marketing/advertising and the execs that sell corporate america on the masses.
If he wasn't such a brilliant ad man himself, I'd tell Postaer to become a novelist full-time.
Unfortunately, Chicago needs guys like him in this industry... he'll have to wait til retirement...heh heh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LaWoman071 on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steffan held my attention, It's an awesome book.

I couldn't help but smile when he cast a woman as God : )

I can hardly wait for his next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Bonnan on July 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
When taking a quick look at this book and its premise, it would seem like a story about religion and advertising. It's not. Though God is a character, and yes the main protagonist is the head of an ad agency, religion and advertising are just the means to something more. This book has a message. A simple message: be good. The author, however, shows us that something as simple as being good isn't always as easy as it sounds. This is a book about people, and the decisions we all have to make. Even God and angels in this book are more like people rather than like the perfect, divine, boring beings that they are typically represented as. This book has made me begin to look at people's actions differently, and has in turn influenced myself to act differently. I was having a particularly bad day on one of the days I was reading this book and some advice I came across while reading it actually made me put the book down and go running instead. It made my day to do that. So when you read this book, look past the religion and past the advertising on to something far more important, look to the people, look to yourself, your actions and how they're affecting you and everybody around you. This book might help you find out something new about yourself.
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