Top critical review
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nothing new here
on April 24, 2012
Maybe I'm a bit more tuned in but, despite a lot of research that went into this, I didn't really find this as thought-provoking as I thought I would. It's nothing new as to how advertisers try to manipulate us all. I would have preferred to learn whether that manipulation actually works backed by some statistical analysis. I'm sorry as someone who likes certain brands because they give good value, but who also is not swayed when it comes to other items no matter the brand (i.e., do I care what brand toilet paper I use?), I think this book is aimed too much at those who feel corporations are evil. In other words it preaches way too much to the converted.
OK, if that's your point of view, you'll love this book. I tend to think a product stands on its own merit, and maybe I'm in the minority when it comes to things like this. So be it. The fact that the author started out trying to live a life without any brand-name products just struck me as more stupid than a brilliant idea to kick off the discussion.
What this book needed was hard analysis of what brands do a good job both as a corporate citizen and offering a quality product. I felt the whole stuff on data mining complete nonsense and typical fear mongering. This whole notion that companies track what we spend has been going on even (shock! horror!) prior to the Internet. Plus if I'm going to have to deal with ads, I personally would rather have ads for things I'd be interested in than being forcefed ads the old way as on TV and radio (do I really need to know about feminine protection?).
Personally, Barry Glassner's Culture Of Fear was far better in explaining why people act the way they do although its focus was not exclusively on advertising.