#dishonest marketing

Trash the Sports Drinks, Stick with Water

on Apr 13, 2010

Is it in you?

Sorry Gatorade, you got the wrong guy. It’s all water here and it costs nearly nothing coming out of the faucet. I don’t need your high fructose corn syrup laden product to perform.

But soon we’re switching to natural sugar.

Sugar is sugar. See my earlier post here.

But what about the electrolytes?

Okay, so you have some potassium and chlorine ions in your product. I replenish my body with proper meals after activities.

But it makes you perform better!

Hmm, I thought my 10 hours of martial arts and 30 miles of skating, every week, fit the definition of performance. Perhaps we should check the dictionary.

Sports drinks are not only unnecessary, but are also processed products, and likely not good for your health. Save your money and your health – drink water. (Note: the above dialog is written by me but based on fact)

Communication and Manipulation

on Mar 22, 2010

Have you noticed how deceptive advertising is? Breakfast cereal companies make health claims on their products – very misleading. Website ads purport weight-loss miracles – complete scams. Trickery appears to be all over our communication mediums. It’s so commonplace that we might accept it as a normal part of society. We seem to tune it out often enough. But there’s just so much manipulation, bringing us closer to non-human animals and turning back the the clock on our evolutionary progress.

Think, in all of the animal kingdom, humans are the only species to have an incredibly extensive communication system. Language (a technology built into us that we often take for granted) in humans greatly surpasses that of any other creature. There’s a simple answer as to why no other creature engages in this: manipulation. If any information can be spread, then false information can be spread. In non-human animals, spreading false information is a good strategy as there is always competition with others. This is why non-human animals don’t evolve strong communication (except in the case of closely related individuals where we do see some level of communication). Humans are unique in their ability to suppress these conflicts of interest and because of this, they assured that information communicated wasn’t malicious information, at the time elite communication evolved. (For a full detailing our our language history, see Chapter 9, Voices from the past: The evolution of ‘language’, in Death from a Distance)

Back to contemporary society, we see that manipulation is everywhere. The ancient condition that allowed elite communication to sprout is terribly disrespected. Today, we’re constantly exposed to deceptive information. A big problem is that much our mental mechanisms are too trusting and leave us open to manipulation. Another is that companies can get away with misleading people, and they’ll do it because it’s in their interest to do so. In the ancient condition, there were enforcement mechanisms to prevent the dissemination of bad information. We don’t have a very good system in place for that now. We need better enforcement on misleading advertising. We, as a whole, would be living much better lives with the absence of manipulative information.

We’re blessed with the incredible technology of elite communication. If it isn’t used mindfully, it will go to waste. It will be ignored. It has already happened to some degree. And where it hasn’t, often lie the victims of manipulation.

Apparently You ‘Eat Like Olympians’ at McDonalds

on Feb 23, 2010

McDonalds is setting an incredibly bad example with their barrage of commercials for the 2010 Olympics. It’s not surprising for an organization like McDonalds to provide sponsorship for the event but these commercials have crossed a line. The video above shows a series of spots for the Canadian airwaves (a similar set was shown for the US). It’s absolutely ridiculous for these amazing athletes to purport this body-destroying junk. It may be true that some like to eat McDonalds [and occasionally at best if they want to remain competitive]. But the athletes are setting a terrible example for millions of kids, world wide, who idolize them, as one blogger as noted from her personal experience.

There was one commercial that really bugged me: A coach talking to a kids ice hockey team. He said that they played like Olympians today, so today they eat like Olympians. Cut to the shot of them in McDonalds. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is just blatant. And I’m sure it’s a slap to the face to all the Olympic athletes that work so hard to train and take care of their bodies.