Alejandro Marré believes that, within the brand-consumer relationship, there should be a much more critical process from the consumer standpoint, and a more transparent and informative one from the brands' side".
The Brands that Lie to Us
Everything is a lie in this world, everything is a lie is the truth. – Manu Chau
The lie is one of the most common human actions. Lying happens all the time regardless of consequences. We lie at home, at school, at work, and to authorities. We lie so much that we accept white lies.
This completely human way of acting presents a pretty flawed ethical backdrop, especially for the commercial world where each brand fights to reach their objectives, specifically that of sales. This applies to selling important products and services, as well as superfluous or unnecessary items. To low quality or dubious material products. Even to products that affect our health.
These kinds of lies are neverending and are so permissible that they make us question our own actions and capacity to analyze what we are consuming.
When the hamburger you purchase does not look like the one in the picture; which possibly looks bigger, with better lighting, and fresher, then you are being lied to. It might not be a big lie, but it is in fact a lie.
When you feel miserable because your waist does not look like that of the model in the magazine, which was probably altered with Photoshop, then not only are you being lied to, your life is affected long term through constant programming of a concept of beauty.
When you happily consume a popular and inoffensive product, and you do not know that in the production process, a part of the planet was destroyed, it was tested on animals, or people were subjected to slave like labor conditions, then not only are you being lied to, you have subtly become an indirect accomplice to these acts.
But the point of all of this is not to focus on the details of how rotten the commercial world is, but instead to reflect on the relationship we have with brands, especially those that lie to us.
The consumer has been historically programmed to be a part of a docile manageable flock. Sad but true as this has come to be a socially accepted human dynamic, by authorities, companies, and the consumer itself.
In this situation, it’s important to remember that the power really is in the hands of those who decide what, how, when, where, and why they acquire a product or service. And information is key so that people can truly understand what is happening with the brands they consume, and in this way can make better decisions about it.
Let’s also remember that part of the responsibility of the communicators, publicists, and market researchers is to inform and educate about all important aspects of a product or service. So when a brand is lying, there is a chain of processes that made that lie a projected truth to the public through the media, ads, design, photography, songs, and a series of elements produced by people, who in the worst case scenario are being part of that lie.
Without meaning to point fingers or blame specific people, I’ll leave it at that, just with reflections of what we consume and why we do it. As a publicist, I include myself in the list of those who work with brands and I daily strive to be more conscious about what I am selling. In this process I have worked for brands that restore my faith in humanity because of their work processes and their direct and honest way of communicating with their audience.
So when you go to the grocery store, remember you have the power in your hands, the power to know and the power to choose what is good and right.