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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: #2,170,389 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

This is a book that's easy to read, and definitely a page-turner.
Julie Glassman
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
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.
Zachary Bonnan

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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anita K. H. Peterson on February 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
My first impression was that this slick book read a lot like my high school friends' attempts at writing a book or screenplay. Then I began to realize that, while the first impression is still right, this book is not written for a wider audience. It's written for the author, some people he may have known in the advertising industry, and potential movie producers.

The central idea - that God would like to use the American advertising industry to promote goodness - is interesting but the execution is simplistic with cardboard characters, ham-handed descriptions, and eye-rolling narrative as well as story inconsistencies and errors.

The author attempts to shock and surprise but things are so obvious and lamely-presented that each attempt can be seen not only a mile away but fizzles when it gets to the reader.

I am not a Christian but if I were, many of the ideas in this book would be offensive, so watch out if you're sensitive that way (also a good warning for Scientologists). I am, however, a bit offended (if one can be offended by such 11th-grade stuff) that the author thinks it appropriate to pretend that Eve (and so, by extention, women) was a construct of Satan. Even the Bible, that bastion of misogyny, says Eve was created by God and the snake was the one who was evil. Whatever.

I can see that Postaer is angling for a movie treatment for this. I think that with the proper director, a very good screenwriter and skilled actors this might be a good movie. As a book, though, this piece is paper-thin (no pun intended) and feels, again, like something you'd find on your teenager's computer.

I would like to soften this review a bit by saying that it's great that Postaer had the dedication to write a book and have it published.
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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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