Control Issues

Are you being controlled?
Image source: Bitstrips
When it comes to making healthy choices many people might argue that the choice is really that of the individual.  After all, we do have freedom of choice, right? 

But how many of the choices you make are actually influenced by marketing?  Food companies spend billions of dollars trying to influence the choices that you make and a significant amount of research is done understanding what makes consumers buy the products that they do. 

Many people may regard marketing as a television or print advertisement.  But marketing encompasses more than that.  For instance, have you ever noticed product placement in movies or television shows.  Or did you know that they more shelving space a product takes up in a grocery store aisle the more likely you will be to buy it? Or have you ever bought a product because the company was supporting a certain social cause?

Messages to consume products are all around us.  Sometimes the messages are right there in your face and sometimes they are more subtle. 

Take a look at this video from the series "Mind Control" with host Darren Brown. The video addresses the impact marketing has on the choices that we make. After watching the video, please share what your thoughts are and if you have wondered why you feel a certain product is better than another…especially when they are quite similar. Also, what are your thoughts about the food choices that you make? Do you think that these are influenced by marketing and if so, to what extent? 

Barone, M. J., Miyazaki, A. D., & Taylor, K. A. (2000). The influence of cause-related marketing on consumer choice: does one good turn deserve another?. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(2), 248-262.

Grier, S. A., & Kumanyika, S. K. (2008). The context for choice: health implications of targeted food and beverage marketing to African Americans. Journal Information, 98(9).

Nestle, M., Wing, R., Birch, L., DiSogra, L., Drewnowski, A., Middleton, S.,& Economos, C. (1998). Behavioral and social influences on food choice. Nutrition Reviews, 56(5), 50-64.

Mind Control with Darren Brown [Video file]. Retrieved from

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