Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Selling Brand America As A Global Marketing Project

A Great Marketing Project: Trading On Fear

Fear can make people do other things they would not do if they were thinking rationally.

PR analysts Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber explain for the Guardian Unlimited how invasion of Iraq was seen in the US from the outstart as a full PR/marketing project.

The key questions they ask in this article are extremely appropriate and touching:
" [we should really] ask ourselves whether we have made the mistake of believing our own propaganda, and whether we have been fighting the war on terror against the wrong enemies, in the wrong places, with the wrong weapons."

From reading this article it seems that a great deal of commercial, vested interests have been well served by this and the more recent US-led military-led campaigns. Avoiding or resisting to see some strategically well-designed marketing and PR plan at work in all this is like not seeing your glass when you drink. And that is what happens when you drink from a can, and you start trusting, but not "seeing" anymore whether you are drinking Coke or G-Pepso-X-SP.

Selling 'Brand America' looks not to have been a great success abroad, so how did it survive in its own home turf?.



The Guardian writes :

"Television uses sudden, loud noises to provoke a startled response, bright colours, violence - not because these things are inherently appealing, but because they catch our attention and keep us watching.

When these practices are criticised, advertisers and TV executives respond that they do this because this is what their "audience wants". In fact, however, they are appealing selectively to certain aspects of human nature - the most primitive aspects, because those are the most predictable.

Fear is one of the most primitive emotions in the human psyche, and it definitely keeps us watching. If the mere ability to keep people watching were really synonymous with "giving audiences what they want", we would have to conclude that people "want" terrorism. On September 11, Osama bin Laden kept the entire world watching. As much as people hated what they were seeing, the power of their emotions kept them from turning away."

Read what the two analysts bring up in their detailed and comprehensive analysis:

"Politicians and terrorists are not the only propagandists who use fear to drive human behaviour in irrational directions. A striking recent use of fear psychology in marketing occurred following Operation Desert Storm in 1991. During the war, television coverage of armoured Humvees sweeping across the desert helped to launch the Hummer, a consumer version of a vehicle originally designed exclusively for military use. ... Read the full article."

Read the full story "Trading on fear" right here.

Please support Unbrand America.

Readers' Comments    
2003-07-13 09:17:24

Luther Blissett

Dear Robin,

these are some related articles to your brilliant post.

The worst kind of lie

IT Sweatshops Breaking Indians,1367,59477,00.html

Pop Khan Mai.

posted by Robin Good on Saturday, July 12 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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