Searching for articles for ideas related to perception, I come across research papers on marketing. The term, value-added, is used frequently. Marketing is about shifting our perceptions. The value-added is often imaginary.

The best example is the story about Shreddies, a popular cereal that I had enjoyed as a child growing up in Canada. The whole wheat cereal is small, flat, square-shaped. An intern working at the company rotated the squares to create a diamond shape. This change of perception initiated a new campaign. The only difference in this marketing scheme was promoting the Diamond Shreddies packaging; there was no change in the product. The campaign was successful in increasing sales by 18 %.

In my research, I was astonished about the number of articles about the continued campaigns to sell conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The following paper describes the attractiveness of the packaging and the successful use of coupons in marketing to non-smokers.

Tobacco Marketing, E-cigarette Susceptibility, and Perceptions among Adults. American Journal of Health Behavior Date: September 1, 2017

The advertising of cigarettes and youth came up in discussion with my husband. He has lost his father, sister, and two brothers to lung cancer. All of them were smokers. He shared a Tim Dolighan cartoon on this subject named “Cool.” The hooded caped grim reaper with marketing printed on his back, holds his arm around a young child and, with the other hand, holds up a mirror to show the boy how cool he looks vaping.

My son reminds me of an animated series on TV called The Flintstones. In the ’60s, Winston cigarettes sponsored the Flintstones, and in the middle of the program, Barney and Fred take a break hiding from their wives. Barney offers Fred a cigarette. In another scene, Wilma joins Fred for a cigarette. Being one of my favourite shows, I do not remember these episodes but wonder about the influence during my childhood.

During the early television shows, it was customary to integrate the commercial during the episodes. In this style, Fred Flintstone spreads Welsh’s grape jelly on bread while he was watching television. The product made its way to our family table.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if this creativity and effort was directed to the promotion of health, heightening the perceived value of eating our vegetables and whole foods, regular exercise, sleep hygiene, drinking water and mindfulness?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Vic says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    Agreed…marketing is powerful from my take on things…from merchandizing to politics, the truth of things is so heavily manipulated and disguised so as to be … invisible and therefore unknown… many cases…it is getting worse me thinks….re Trump..
    See you on Sunday?…cuz Vic


    1. cynthianeil says:

      Thank you for your comment. Teasing out the truth is a challenging ongoing endeavour.
      It was wonderful to reconnect on Sunday.


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