Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What does advertising really say to you?

In the mid 1800s as Victorian industrialization of food production meant that the guy who milled the flour no longer baked the bread, food adulteration became a huge problem as the new "supply chain" sought to increase profits at each stage.  

The things you bought were basically advertised at making you feel higher up on the social scale, or made claims about their function.  But the problem that was making many sick or ill was the adulteration of the purity of items being sold.

By the late 1880s, things got so bad that the public needed assurances that they were getting unadulterated items, so things were starting to be marketed as "Pure" ... Soaps, flours, milk, etc, all needed to advertise their purity.  The USA went a little longer before they addressed the issue in 1906, but they also needed to address the issue for the same health reasons.

If marketing things as "pure" was a result of things not being pure before, today we can look at current advertising and extrapolate what the manufacturers perceive us to be worried about.

Things today are marked:

*Best of breed
*Energy efficient
*Low fat/salt

Just looking at this quick list, you can see that advertising is trying to tell us things are not fuel guzzling, fat/salt laden, unnatural, all looking the same, cheap or probably not healthy for you.

By looking at what advertising is saying to you now, allows you to see into a products past, and also see the product's bosses perception of what they think you think of them and their product.  So next time you see a car advert telling you about their "all new, stand-out-from-the-crowd" vehicle, you know that they are probably aware it's perceived as just another same-as-before/like-the-competition vehicle.

Just think about this for a while.