We’ve all been there: scrolling through social media and falling victim to sponsored posts, only to regret our purchases when we receive our next credit card statement. Slick advertising isn’t new, but it is becoming more targeted. It’s like they’re inside our minds and we don’t even know it. But what if I told you a lot of what we think of as facts or traditions started as very successful ad campaigns?
Yep, it wasn’t until after World War II when baby boomers were just being born that diamonds became the standard stone in an engagement ring. Before then there were still engagement rings with precious stones but diamonds were just another stone.
Before the 1990’s, water was mostly considered a utility. It’s still free out of any tap if you ask. A marketing genius figured out that by bottling it he could turn a utility into a product. Soon you had bottled water companies popping up left and right, and companies like Gatorade and Evian funded their own “scientific research companies” to come up with more reasons that people should drink their products. This also fueled the myth you need 8 glasses a day to be healthy, even though no scientific study has every proven this. In actuality, 33 oz or one liter is enough for the average person, and most of your needed water intake is satisfied by the food that you eat.
Fitness experts disagree on everything: Keto verse Vegan, cardio verses weight training, even the nutritional value of an egg has been debated and gone in and out of style over the years. While experts say, “sitting is the new smoking,” there isn’t a magic number that makes one person healthier than another. Research shows that people who work in places like call centers where they sit for long periods at a time are less healthy (even if they hit a treadmill for an hour after) than people who work in restaurants like waiters who walk in short burst throughout the day.
Advertisers get paid very well to create an image associated with their product. People unfortunately buy into it, creating a consumer driven economy. Some of these ad campaigns are so good they become engrained in our society and people couldn’t imagine their lives without them.