The Power of Advertising and Marketing

What to fight about?

Advertising is a powerful thing. It is more powerful than most people believe. Heck, sometimes I think everything that came out of the 1960s was due to advertising.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Ever heard that? Of course. Is it true? No.

Turns out it came from the bacon industry, of all things.

Back in the 50s and 60s, cereal started gaining major traction with consumers. It was quick and easy, especially when trying to get ready and out the door in the morning. All that cereal led to a serious decline in bacon sales.

To counter that, the bacon industry came up with the famous tagline, which was intended to make people put more importance on breakfast and hopefully spend more time (and bacon) on it.

These days the message has mutated, and everyone thinks if you skip breakfast you’ll get fat. This is due to more marketing.

Consider carefully the following sentence, which you’ve no doubt heard many times before:

“Studies find that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight than those who eat a healthy breakfast every day.”

And that’s true. But, have you ever wondered why the wording, which is very awkward, never seems to vary? That’s because while it is true, the reason it is true is that people who eat a healthy breakfast every day are much more likely to be carefully monitoring everything they eat and are far more health-conscious in general than those who just grab their briefcase and head out the door. That’s why they are less likely to be overweight. Not because they eat breakfast (or not).

This was recently proven by a major study by a doctor who tended to skip breakfast and got tired of hearing the tired bacon tagline from well-meaning people around him. The study found that while people who skipped breakfast did tend to consume more calories later, the additional calories were considerably fewer than a breakfast. The conclusion of the study was that skipping breakfast is one valid method to lose weight.

The next time you give someone advice that seems like “common sense” you might want to do some searching to find out where that common sense actually came from. There’s a fair chance it was from marketing during the 50s and 60s.

Now that’s powerful.

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