Tag Archives | Marketing

Iceland Considers Making Cigarettes Prescription-Only

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

Cigarettes seem like the last thing a doctor would prescribe, but Iceland may be moving to outlaw the sale of cigarettes in stores and only allowing pharmacists to dispense them. The proposal was written in hopes of reducing the amount of smokers and emphasizing the health concerns rather than the marketing tactics. Those with a prescription for cigarettes will be considered addicts getting the chemicals their bodies have become accustomed to. The Guardian reports:

Iceland is considering banning the sale of cigarettes and making them a prescription-only product.

The parliament in Reykjavik is to debate a proposal that would outlaw the sale of cigarettes in normal shops. Only pharmacies would be allowed to dispense them – initially to those aged 20 and up, and eventually only to those with a valid medical certificate.

The radical initiative is part of a 10-year plan that also aims to ban smoking in all public places, including pavements and parks, and in cars where children are present.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Age Of Perpetual Self-Branding

imageFacebook wants to be the place where you feel most yourself, with the most control over how you are regarded. It inextricably intertwines marketing with selfhood, so that having a self becomes an inherently commercial operation.

Writing for n+1, Rob Horning concocts a frightening, fantastic, and thought-provoking essay on how we live today, connecting the reign of “fast fashion” companies such as Forever 21, social media such as Facebook, and 21st century capitalism’s demand that workers market and reinvent themselves endlessly:

I’ve always thought that Forever 21 was a brilliant name for a fast-fashion retailer. These two words succinctly encapsulate consumerism’s mission statement: to evoke the dream of perpetual youth through constant shopping. Yet it also conjures the suffocating shabbiness of that fantasy, the permanent desperation involved in trying to achieve fashion’s impossible ideals.

Despite apparently democratizing style and empowering consumers, fast fashion in some ways constitutes a dream sector for those eager to condemn contemporary capitalism, as the companies almost systematically heighten some of its current contradictions: the exhaustion of innovative possibilities, the limits of the legal system in guaranteeing property rights, the increasing immiseration of the world workforce.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Only In America: Purchase A Giant Pepsi To Raise Money For Diabetes Research

kfc_pepsi_diabetesThe Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has confirmed that this is a real promotion occurring now at KFCs across the country. Gulp down a “mega jug” of Pepsi — that’s a half gallon containing 56 spoonfuls of sugar — and one whole dollar will go towards finding a cure for the terrible disease that the drink will give you. Via Grist:

I honestly didn’t believe this one was for real at first. No way even KFC, purveyors of a sandwich that uses fried meat as a delivery mechanism for fried meat, would seriously market a soda size called the “mega jug.” And even if they did, they’d never have the chutzpah to donate “mega jug” dollars to juvenile diabetes research.

Sadly, I had totally underestimated KFC’s capacity for irony. The mega jug is a half gallon of soda, and this is a real local promotion. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation defends it thus: “JDRF supports research for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that results when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, therefore requiring a child or adult with the disease to depend on insulin treatment for the rest of their lives.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Maddow Describes Palin’s Media Strategy As Putin-esque

Rachel Maddow compares Sarah Palin's media portrayal to a similar strategy that Putin is known to use. From images of her running in pristine Alaska to her successful hunting kills, Palin's media image isn't too far off from Putin horseback riding shirtless. Maddow continues to question whether these tactics facilitate the same reactions from Americans as Putin receives from Russians. FromThe Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC:
Continue Reading

Study: Advertising Plants Memories Of Experiences We Never Had

imagery-adOn the bright side, is it really such a bad thing to be implanted with false memories of, say, dancing with smiling, multicultural nu-ravers while drinking a refreshing Pepsi? Partial Objects explains:

A newly published study by two marketing professors suggests that advertising can create memories of experiences that never happened, simply by including sufficiently evocative imagery and descriptions in the ad:

Exposure to an imagery-evoking ad can increase the likelihood that consumer mistakenly believes that s/he has experience with the advertised product when in fact s/he does not. Moreover such a false belief produces attitudes that are as strong as attitudes based on true beliefs based on previous product experience, an effect that we label the false experience effect.

Advertising has always been an appeal to a fantasy, and this study seems to suggest that if the ad is created just right, that fantasy can be in the form of a desire to return to a previous wonderful experience (even if the previous experience never actually happened.) But this finding suggests something a bit more insidious.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Osama Bin Laden: Death Of An Advertising Icon

It may come as a surprise to some Americans, but since 9/11, Osama bin Laden’s name and visage have been prime fodder for use in corporate ad campaigns (elsewhere) around the world, symbolizing a range of meanings. Buzzfeed has an overview of some of the best examples of Osama advertising, demonstrating that terrorism, like sex, sells. Just imagine the unbelievable bankability he would have commanded had he not been in hiding.

shipping

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Atomic And Radioactive Products

“In the early 1900s, radium was more valuable than gold and platinum. As such, the term “Radium” was incorporated into the brand names of any number of products even when these products didn’t actually contain radium. The same was true for the term ‘X-Ray.'”

How To Be A Retronaut has a nice collection of early to mid-twentieth century consumer brands that tapped into a general public enthusiasm for anything related to atomic bombs and radiation. Those were simpler times, when happiness meant an “atomic meal” on every kitchen table and (usually faux-) radioactive products in every medicine cabinet.

Atomic-razor-blades222

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Smokers Believe ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Slim’ Cigarettes Are Less Harmful

CigaretteScienceDaily reports:

Despite current prohibitions on the words ‘light’ and ‘mild’, smokers in Western countries continue falsely to believe that some cigarette brands may be less harmful than others. In fact, all conventional brands of cigarette present the same level of risk to smokers, including ‘mild’ and ‘low-tar’ brands.A study published in the journal Addiction polled over 8000 smokers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. Approximately one-fifth of those smokers incorrectly believed that “some cigarette brands could be less harmful than others.” False beliefs were highest among US smokers.

Current research shows that smokers base their perceptions of risk on pack colour, believing that ‘silver’, ‘gold’ and ‘white’ brands are less harmful to smoke than ‘black’ or ‘red’ brands. The reason for those beliefs may lie in the history of cigarette branding. Cigarettes used to carry labels like ‘light’, ‘mild’, and ‘low tar’, and in some places they still do.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Economics Of Happiness (Video)

I recently had a chance to attend a showing of the documentary The Economics of Happiness. It has a very strong message about the fiscal and social problems of globalization, especially its impact beyond the western world. As a solution, the film suggests a movement towards focusing on communities and localization. Here's the trailer and a plot synopsis:
Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.
Continue Reading