Friday, April 6, 2012


Brandwashed: (by Martin Lindstrom)  This book is about advertising and branding of products and how the average person is manipulated into buying into and buying those products.  I either read an interview about it on or heard one on NPR and was interested enough to get and read it.  Sadly the book didn't live up to the hype.  I thought I was getting a book that talked about the tricks of advertising with amusing and enlightening anecdotes along the way.  The book had some anecdotes and did talk about some tricks, but mostly it just felt preachy.  A lot of the book's message seemed to be how products and advertising were manipulating you (his words) and thus are evil (my word).  Especially because they were (gasp!) making money off of you.  Personally I can't see how that's a problem.  Why should we punish businesses for success?  Capitalism = good.  Does it surprise me that business have figured out exactly where to place products to maximize sales?  No.  Does it surprise me that they have figured out exactly what music, phrases and actors will translate into the most money for them?  No.  Do I find that bad?  Again, no.  He spends a whole chapter ranting against membership cards and the like and how the store/website is tracking that data and using it to sell more stuff to you.  Oh Nos!  You mean that the ads that pop up on the websites I visit are more likely to be things I actually want?  The horror!  The last chapter is all about peer pressure and how easily a group of people in an "experiment" were manipulated to buy things.  It's fairly interesting, but any results are a bit spurious, since most people I hang out with stopped being so worried about name brands and using the "in" products back in high school.

Brandwashed: C+

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