New Discovery! Advertizing Message Found In Amniotic Fluid

Where should I go to escape being bombarded with advertizing messages? Asked Morgan Spurlock in his latest documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. To which Ralph Nader replied, “To sleep”.

Well, Mr. Nader may be wrong. At least he’s wrong when it comes to unborn babies.

Those Who Enter…

Las Vegas casinos have long mastered the fine art of keeping their guests disoriented:

  • They are using artificial lighting so you can’t tell if it’s night or day.
  • They’re pumping oxygen to spur the state of light euphoria.
  • They are keeping the free bar open 24/7 to help you make some bad decisions.

A major Asian shopping mall chain must have taken a page out of Vegas play book and few years ago, decided to start subtly manipulating their biggest and most suggestible customer base. Mothers to be.

There is a confluence of factors affecting the spending habits of mothers to be.

  • Hormonal changes in both men and women -but especially women- are most pronounced during this time.
  • Anticipation, uncertainly and fear of bringing another life into this world.
  • The nesting instinct is at its most intense during pregnancy.

Just to name a few…

All this -and more- means that a typical mall is brimming with mothers-to-be on any given day. So shrewd marketers have figured they ought to start “priming” these women to turn them into better consumers. How?

Would You Like to Sample This Fragrance?

The Asian shopping mall chain started to experiment with smells.

  • They began spraying Johnson and Johnson baby powder in the areas where clothing was sold.
  • They would pump the smell of freshly baked cherry pie in the food court much like Vegas casinos are pumping oxygen.
  • And to top it off, they would play music from the approximate era when these new mothers-to-be were children themselves to evoke pleasant childhood memories.

Needless to say, it was a smashing success with one unintended consequence.

Dear Mall, My Baby Has Stopped Crying

About a year into the sensory abundance experiment, the chain started to receive letters from these new moms attesting to the amazingly soothing effect the mall has on their new borns.

The minute babies would enter the mall, they would stop crying, fussing, and they would no longer be cranky.

60% of the mothers claimed the babies didn’t display this type of behavior anywhere else. Source: Brandwashing (Amazing Affiliate Link)

Super Consumer Generation

What’s going on here is that a whole new generation of super shoppers is being born.

Scientists have long known that babies can hear the mother’s heartbeat and experience mothers voice in utero. But now we know that the baby’s olfactory perceptions are not limited to mother. Babies can hear voices of others (which is why fathers are encourages to talk to the belly).

The mall is using this fact to effectively become the third parent to the child.

When a mother-to-be walks into a mall and her senses are assaulted with pleasant smells and soothing music, her cortisol levels drop down and her mood is elevated. The experience of spending money becomes a deeply ingrained, emotionally desirable activity. Not only for the mother, but by proxy, for the baby as well.

Not to mention that every time she applies Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder on the baby’s tush, she’s reminded of the mall.

Brandwashing

This very recent case study involving the Asian shopping mall chain is brilliantly presented in Martin Lindstrom’s latest book Brandwashing (Amazing Affiliate Link). Highly recommended.

Corporations are becoming more insidious in how they get us to buy their shit. Try going for a week without buying a brand name product. You will fail. I promise.

Now What?

I hope this post helps you stay more vigilant. The vaccine for consumerism is unlearning. So, unlearn.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

    I think you did it (brainwashed) me, Dino! My wife is VERY irritated that I keep talking about Indian tribes! Sometimes I am chanting – Hu ya yah ya, Hu ya yah ya. But when I get up and scream “TRIBERR” she goes ballistic on me!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I wish there was a seal we can slap on you. BRANDWASHED! Boom! Done lol You are now in maintenance mode, my friend :-)

  • http://igirl.posterous.com/ Chris Loyd

    ok, thats kinda crazy, but I’m hung up on hormonal changes that happen to men? I get that there are changes in women, but men? 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Studies show that men have a significant decrease in testosterone levels around the pregnancy. The evolution’s way to:

      A) Diminish the man’s desire to roam so that he can stick around and help raise the baby, and

      B) Diminish the man’s overall aggression levels so that he wouldn’t be inclined to …well….aggress (verb :-) against the baby and the mother of his baby. 

      Crazy stuff, huh? #ScienceCanBeFun

      • http://igirl.posterous.com/ Chris Loyd

        ok, you just blew my mind :)

  • Anonymous

    This is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. (Oh, and extra points for the funny headline.)

    Have you seen Idiocracy? Sometimes I feel that’s where the western world is headed. That’s what the baby up there reminded me of.
    Hey, you know what’s the opposite of all-powerful advertising? I bet you’re thinking, ‘J’s going to say “no advertising whatsoever.”‘ Hah! Gotcha! No. That was my opinion at the age of 14. When I was a goth and foolishly believed that the world could be turned on its head.
    Well, I learned a trick or two since then, and read a couple of books.*

    OK, so the opposite of all-powerful advertising is responsible, ethics-driven advertising monitored by democratic citizens and organizations. To a certain extent, we have that now. I mean, you no longer see pictures of giggling two year-olds shaving themselves with straight razors like you did in the 1920s or whatever.
    Still. Advertising is way too powerful in some countries. In places like Norway or Sweden** (which are among the world’s most prosperous, have the lowest crime rates, score very high on the HDI, etc.) they can’t use children in advertising, or target any ads at children. I for one think that’s a fine policy. Maybe it works because people over there strongly feel that they belong in society and in turn society belongs to THEM, and they don’t see the government as a tax-sucking vampire. Maybe scale works for them because, after all, Norway has under five million people, and Sweden barely reaches ten. Or… maybe they got their act together long before they were affluent countries — which they did — and have long had politicians who concern themselves with protecting vulnerable parts of their society. Like children.

    I have tried to go a week without purchasing a brand name product, and it’s kind of hard, because every single product out there has a brand :P It may be utter shit, it may be a sketchy brand you’ve never even heard of, but there’s a logo and there was some thinking behind it and a marketing team — you know.

    *’Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Roget’s Thesaurus.’ (The latter was very confusing. No plot, no characters, no pictures.) 

    **Fun fact about Sweden: they used to drive on the left. In the seventies, they decided to change overnight. Now they drive on the right. No major traffic accidents were reported; under 40 in the entire country, I believe. Spread out over… two years? Something like that.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Sweden is awesome. I was there back in 1998 for a month, just chillin, hangin out with my homies, and what not…

      Ration of women t men was/is? 10 to 1. Dweebs walking around with models was a common occurrence.

      ANyways…thnx for a reminder :-)

      P.S. Yup…I saw Idiocracy…it’s based on a true story, you know? :-)

      • Anonymous

        I was there last year. Stockholm is like the supermodel capital of the world. 

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    Oh my God… Baby in the postage stamps! This pic impressed me!

  • http://www.contentstrategyhub.com Eugene Farber

    Well…

    holy shit. 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I concur :-)

  • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    Thanks for this great warning, Dino.:-)

    I saw a great email on this topic a while ago: Smell of fresh cookies in the bakery isle; char-grilled steak smell in the butchery section; but readers will never visit the toilet paper isle again! LOL!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Ana comes strong with the poo jokes lol very nice :-)

  • http://genyrants.com Justice Wordlaw IV

    I think I just had my learning moment for the day. 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Awesome :-)

  • http://twitter.com/lifeforinstance Life, for instance

    Hi Dino,
    Funny I missed this until today (busy week last week) when I, too, am posting about the effects of aroma! I had heard years ago that this was coming – using aroma deliberately to sell product, not that bakeries haven’t been doing that since the beginning of time! But it does seem devious and underhanded, doesn’t it, when it is artificially done. We’re tampering with a sense that deeply impacts how we feel. I think our choice to be exposed to aroma should be voluntary and not arbitrarily enforced. 
    I think education is the only defense we have against this kind of marketing. When our kids were very small, my  husband told them that during the Saturday morning cartoons, advertisers would be trying to convince them to want and then to beg their parents for certain items. He presented it in such a way that this never happened – they were forewarned; aware. We have to be aware of why we’re doing what we’re doing, don’t you think? 
    Lori

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I agree. Education outside the education system is paramount. Uphill battle tho, considering it’s possible to affect the mood of an unborn. Glad it worked for you guys…that was a smart move on your husband’s part.

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  • Danny Brown

    I’m usually pissed on scotch and high on glue when I enter these types of establishments – thanks for the update on what I’m missing, mate. :)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Yo Danny, god to see you here, Mate. I’ll be in Boston on Nov 10th. You around?

      • Danny Brown

        Unfortunately not, sir – next time, hopefully! Baaa!

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          Baaa indeed my friend. Baaa indeed :-)

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    One of the guys who really convinced me of why it’s stupid to think “Brand Name” is “Better” was Thomas Stanley.

    In his latest book, “Stop Acting Rich” he decimated my worship of Grey Goose Vodka with evidence that there’s no significant difference in plain vodka besides the bottle it comes in. But some times you get what you pay for.
     
    For example, towels.

    I grew up poor and we used have to use those shitty jobs from K-Mart to dry off. Once I got a job and I turned myself into a towel snob once I bought a Polo towel for like three times what you could buy towels for at K-Mart. In this instance there’s a HUMONGOUS difference in the experience of drying yourself. One leaves with a towel that doesn’t cover big sections of your body and doesn’t absorb water . . . the other does the opposite.

    But for a lot of Brand Names, all you’re paying more for is the name.

    I’m grateful to Thomas Stanley for waking me up out of my Vodka stupor and I can’t recommend his book highly enough to anyone who doesn’t want to think of themselves as one of the sheep.

    Thanks for introducing me to this book Dino! I’m sure I’ll find some awesome stuff in it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Did you know that the guy who owns Grey Goose appropriated the name because he already had it from a previous, failed venture? The dude was too cheap to trademark a new name for his vodka so he used the name he already owned…how hilarious is that?

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