With advertisings’ barrage of endless promises to consumers from lighter, brighter, less of, extra, new, better, and most likely every other adjective fathomable, is there any questioning why consumers are more cautious and less trusting.
According to CBS our eyes are exposed to 5000 advertisements per day, which is nearly 2 million per annum. We do not process everything we see so advertisers try to use every gimmick or trick to catch our attention.
Marketers suggest that the packaging of a product is what makes the product a success or failure. Supermarkets are a key arena for advertising, where product packages dupe it out to be the fairest of them of all. Each product has dozens of substitutes and consumers make decisions within a few seconds. Products have to continually offer new and better benefits to consumers to be selected. With that logic one can only assume we are creating this monster called advertising.
Let’s take a look at a few of the favorites. First up is Knorr Light Mayonnaise which claims that it has 68% less fat than the original, which is true but what consumers aren’t aware of is the reduced fat means more sodium. The regular full-fat mayonnaise has no sodium whereas the light one has 64 milligrams per 10 grams of mayonnaise. Then there are many additives to compensate for taste and thickness. Choosing full-fat mayonnaise or light mayonnaise is simply deciding between the lesser of two evils
Next is the kids’ favorite, Capri Sun that proudly displays “no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and no preservatives.” Merely because they haven’t added artificial sweeteners doesn’t mean they haven’t added an abundance of sugar. Each 200ml juice pouch contains 19 grams of sugar which is roughly the same amount of sugar in a 200ml of coke. Capri sun also states they only use natural flavor, the irony of it being in the list of ingredients there is actually an ingredient called “natural flavor” the ambiguity of that so-called ingredient is worrisome alone.
Finally, who can resist anything that claims it can make you healthier. The probiotic craze in yogurt is thriving based on that very notion. Yogurts like Activia claim their product can regulate your digestive system. However, in 2010 Activia settled a 45 Million Dollar lawsuit for false advertising. Their claims that their yogurt had been “clinically and scientifically” proven to improve the digestive system was false and were ordered to remove those two specific words. Furthermore, each small container has 15 grams of sugar which is roughly 4 teaspoons.
As consumers, we want so much, but want to do so little. So who is the real culprit?
Before you grab a box of cookies stating less fat, try to focus on what it isn’t telling you rather than what it is.