Thursday, September 29, 2011

Martin Lindstrom, marketing visionary and consumer advocate, explains the secrets of how global corporations manipulate our minds to persuade us to buy. Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy looks at the marketing industry, exposing the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our money. He reveals that advertisers and marketers intentionally target children, stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia, make their products chemically addictive, and more.


Martin Lindstrom

Comments [18]

Tony from Elmont, L.I.

Umm, isn't this guy selling his book?!

WNYC is just another forum for advertising. Most guests on most shows---Lopate, Studio 360, etc.---are on because they're shilling for new films, books, TV shows and recordings.

It's not so different from the morning and evening network "news" programs. Can someone explain why a "journalist" needs to tell me who's competing on Dancing with the Stars and why that is considered news?

"We'll get to that tragic story about the tsunami, but first...a walnut-brained cheerleader will preview the new ESPN SportsZone at Disneyworld!"

Sep. 30 2011 02:12 AM

The nonsense that Lindstrom is claiming was claimed decades ago by pseudo-economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his book The Affluent Society. Somehow, we are all "robots" who are manipulated into buying things we don't want. If these corporations and their advertising agencies create ads that are so powerful and manipulative, how come each one of us isn't manipulated into buying every single product we see advertised?

The whole point of any marketing/advertisement is to inform a potential customer about a product that he or she may be interested in and then to try to persuade the customer as best as possible into trying out the product. One of three things happens: (1) the customer is not interested at all in the product being advertised and, therefore, ignores the advertisement; (2) the customer is interested in the product, buys the product, likes the product, and is therefore happy that the advertisement alerted him or her to the product; or (3) the customer is interested in the product, buys the product, does not like the product, but wouldn't have known whether or not he or she liked the product that seemed to interest them from the advertisement unless he or she tried it. This is manipulation? How else are you going to find out about the many new products that come out every day that may be of interest to you? Mental telepathy?

Outside of food, shelter, and clothing, we don't NEED anything. So for this guest to SUBJECTIVELY decide that the things that people want are not needed is, at best, condescending. Perhaps the "wise" Mr. Lindstrom should tell us what we need and don't need? After all, the rest of us are so "stupid" that we keep buying products that we don't really want.

Sep. 29 2011 03:27 PM
udo from greenpoint

Another interesting thing to think about is how defunct brands acquire kitsch over time. Old cigarette ads, American Motors--they become benign after they lose their presence. They acquire a hefty layer of irony to them, once the mirage becomes so obvious. It becomes quaint when we know it no longer has a hold on us.

Sep. 29 2011 12:53 PM
David from New York City

Could it be that the WNYC culture uses manipulation to make us feel more sophisticated, more "in the know?" Doesn't all selling use manipulation?

Sep. 29 2011 12:50 PM
Udo from greenpoint

The calvin cline testing method is an interesting example of the essence of what a brand is. There's a fragrance store in Williamsburg called I hate perfume, and it's not ironic. The guys behind it are against the idea of a uniform fragrance as a brand. Instead they make custom fragrances that conjure an individual's particular memories. Real memories vs simulated authenticity.

Sep. 29 2011 12:43 PM
scott from chicago, IL

Isn't branding just an extension of commerce. And aren't we just talking about "commerce" and "exchange" around the dinner table, which is a several 1,000 year old concept? Why is branding viewed as corrupt? As you mention, WNYC is a brand. I talk about your brand at the dinner table, and I don't feel bad about it!

Sep. 29 2011 12:38 PM

@Suzanne - you have your choice to pay too much money for toxins, but WHF is really unethical and we can and need to do better! The more we support these liars, the more they take over - those endangered now are small farmers who make local food that's nutritious, fresh and far less likely to contain ecoli and listeria. The huge, monoculture farms that support WF support govt (etc) are making huge efforts to put small farmers out of business - and small farmers do not destroy the ecology like industrial farms are. WF lies - presents itself as artisinal - it isn't at all it is the opposite!!!

Sep. 29 2011 12:35 PM
Thom from from Brooklyn

I wonder if the current economic crisis is forcing consumers, with less money, to consider the way we are being manipulated in our buying habits?

Sep. 29 2011 12:34 PM
Thom from from Brooklyn

I wonder if the current economic crisis is forcing consumers, with less money, to consider the way we are being manipulated in our buying habits?

Sep. 29 2011 12:33 PM
victoria from Manhattan

The last two times Whole Foods raised the price on their butter, a sign appears underneath saying "Everyday Low Price."

Sep. 29 2011 12:33 PM
donna from Hastings on Hudson,NY

It would be great to use brandwashing to get people to eat healthier and reduce obesity. So I dont really have a problem if it is TJ or WF brandwashing

Sep. 29 2011 12:32 PM
Leah from South Harlem

Please ask your guest about Genetically Modified Organisims hiding in our foodstream -- without labeling -- because labeling is not required by the FDA.

Sep. 29 2011 12:32 PM
Matt K from Greenpoint

Shopping is a feeling.

True Stories, 1986

Sep. 29 2011 12:31 PM

it used to be so much easier to get fish bones to make broth at Fairway - now you have to call ahead and get there before your sales fellow departs for the day!

Whole Foods is really such a crock!

How many North Americans have even ever been to a farmer's market or a farm?

Sep. 29 2011 12:29 PM
SUzanne from Plainfield

Why the piling on Whole Foods? They market to their target they do it well. I like shopping in a well-organized environment. WFM sells local produce when they can, and their corporate practices are better than most. You seem accusatory and so negative. Why not stress the positive aspects of the company?

Sep. 29 2011 12:29 PM
Bill from UWS

I've heard that some radio shows add a little reverb to their sound in order to make voices sound more authoritative.

Sep. 29 2011 12:27 PM

really interesting segment! thanks

Sep. 29 2011 12:24 PM
Teresa from Park Slope (surprise, surprise)

When this segment started, I thought my one and a half year old and I were above this. She's never had soda, never eaten at McDonald's, doesn't watch TV and doesn't know common global brands. And then as I patted myself on the back for my superior parenting, I realized some of her early words were iPad and Apple (with a big A, not the fruit). Oh well.

Sep. 29 2011 12:16 PM

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