As I sit here writing my posts for the week, I’m enjoying a can of Coke. And of course, it’s one of the white cans with the little polar bears on it… a constant reminder to me that the ice in the Arctic is melting, leaving more and more polar bears without suitable habitat to survive. But at least Coke is doing something about it – it says so on the can. They’re planning to donate 2 million dollars to the WWF over the next few years. So I should probably continue to drink more because they’re planning to help out those sweet little polar bears.
Wait – aren’t polar bears vicious top-predators? And what on earth is Coke planning to do to protect their habitat? Did I, an ecologist with six years of higher education, fall prey to advertising?
Oh yes. And, quite frankly, it happens all the time.
Advertising is all around us. And it’s shocking how far retailers will go these days to trigger an emotional reaction to get us, the consumer, to purchase their product. I’ve found myself buying products because they support breast cancer, provide shoes to people in undeveloped countries, and even because they make environmental/fair-trade claims. But how much of this is true? Am I just being played?
I’d hate to think that someone is taking advantage of my good intentions.
But what can I do to protect myself from falling prey to advertisement? I think the only way to protect yourself is to stop and think about the product. Would you buy it regardless of the advertisement? Are you just trying it because of the advertisement? Is it affiliated with a well-known organization?
The whole purpose of sales is to make as much money as possible – so keep this in mind when you see a pledge to support your favourite fuzzy creature. Don’t let adverting make a fool of you.
Do you find yourself being taken in by advertisements? How do you protect yourself?