Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mad Men Tricks

I started watching Mad Men last night. I'm a little late to the game, I know, but there was something I noticed right away that I feel the need to point out.

Ad people are trickesters.

It isn't new knowledge. We all know that commercials and ads are designed to get us to buy the products they are peddling. But the first episode of Mad Men shows exactly how much they can't be trusted. Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it.

In this episode, smoking had been outed as causing cancer. (Common knowledge now, but in the 60s when 'everyone' smoked, it was ground breaking.) The ad guy and the cigarette company is in a panic because they are about to lose business, and suddenly they aren't allowed to promote smoking as being healthy.

Enter the tricks. How can big tabacco convince the buying public that their product is safe, even if it isn't? They decide to by pass saying it's healthy (because legally they can't) and they decide to play up how naturally it's made. They decide on the slogan, "It's toasted."

It brings to mind breakfast toast or fresh nuts, doesn't it? Both are things most consider healthy.

It makes me realize how much faith I put into advertising. I'm pretty skeptical to start with, but I still fall for the "part of a healthy breakfast" line from time to time. Or the milk and cookies routine. Milk's healthy after all, why not spice it up with a cookie (or 6)? Hmm. And I'm hard pressed to turned down cake with love baked in. Who doesn't want a little bite of love? It'd be down right rude to turn it down.

Luckily, I have DVR and can record any TV I watch and skip right past the ads. But they are starting to crop up other places now. The web is really starting to get a good method to advertising. And it's getting harder to avoid someone trying to convince you their products is the best.

When it comes to food and your health, do your research. Obviously don't trust the people trying to sell you their product, particularly if they are adamant about how healthy it is. Apple farmers don't have to convince you to buy apples. Truly healthy foods don't come in package. They are made by nature.

The only way to know if you are eating right is to learn about your food. The more you know...

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