The Emerging Danger of Marketing
How product advertising is slowly but surely destroying our lives
With the emergence of the digital world, marketing has become more omnipresent than ever, with services like Google AdSense churning in revenue from the business.
Wherever we go, be it the coffee shop or any website, chances are either on-site, or on the way to it, you see at least one advertisement. Generally, these go skip past our mind due to their repetitive nature and our busy lives. However, the repetition also plays to it’s favor, solidifying itself indefinitely through sheer frequency.
For example, imagine that you are enjoying yourself on YouTube and a certain brand is being endorsed by the creator. For a first-time occurrence, you might ignore it or see little value in it. However, if this occurs constantly over a long period of time, then that product or company becomes implanted in your head.
The dangers of this come later, when a necessity comes up. Due to the rent-free spot that the actuality occupies in your mind, it is likely to come up first when a use-case scenario is brought to light. Moreover, although unknowingly, you will be inclined/biased toward the product due to the emotional connection you have to the endorsement from a creator you like.
Although this premise might seem like it provides no indicative harm for the creator and the recipient, the product itself is one that can be questionable. Promotion of various items, whether it seems safe from a reference point, can actually be quite harmful.
In some cases, the brand itself refrains or holds information from the publisher in order to increase chances of the endorsement. Brands care about growth, and so, capitalize on a lack of awareness to gain promotion.
Though the reality is tough, some of the most recognized and praised brands have succumbed to marketing methods that were unethical or misleading to the consumer.
Companies like Airborne, Splenda, New Balance, Volkswagen, Red Bull, and many more. Misleading claims were put into the spotlight to increase sales number, for, as many know, the corporate world is a greedy enterprise that is full of individuals basing their worth off of these figures.
A statement of vague caliber or one that is outright false might be manageable when the product isn’t one that can directly harm you, but in some situations the repercussions could be astronomical. One major player comes into heavy vulnerability from the dangers of false advertising: consumables.
It’s one thing when the buyer received a pair of shoes that won’t make them magically able to jump 4 feet into the air or glasses that make you 10x more attractive, but the level of instability rises drastically when having to do with objects that go directly into your body. One mistake from brands can wreck havoc on the community, especially if their presence is widespread.
Prominent examples of this include candies produced in the 1990s and 2000s which contained dangerous substances or weren’t tested for complete safety, resulting in digestive issues and sometimes even fatalities in young children.
Examples include candies like the “Tamarind Lollipops” or “The Toxic Chew Bars”, which possessed high levels of lead and brought upon death across the world when they first became popular.
In fact, the trend is a lot more common in countries that aren’t particularly developed. For example, the two candies mentioned previously came to the US from Mexico and Pakistan, respectively, both of who contain omnipresent poverty and limited sanitation.
If properly endorsed during the digital age, these simple treats, targeted at children, could have brought even more peril.
Information is key, and analyze marketing carefully. Try to keep a true perspective, especially when dealing with brands that have been recently established or ones that aren’t renowned, for they pack in the most risk.
Key Message: Be careful as you navigate the digital age. Marketing is meant to lure you in, so it is important to be aware of what is in front of you, for one small misleading piece of information could claim you as the first victim.