This is a MUST TEACH on my list of parenting responsibilities.
Sadly, it did not even occur to me that I should be questioning the ads and commercials I was seeing on the television or hearing on the radio or reading in the newspapers or magazines. We are a trusting lot, here in Canada, and not only believe that what we see is truthful but that it is not designed to manipulate us. It just is!
Beware of highly skilled marketing techniques. When you watch a television commercial or hear an ad or look at an advertisement, do not just think you are hearing/seeing reality. Company’s making products bring on skilled individuals, with degree’s who research needs and vulnerabilities of certain pockets of individuals (i.e. young mom’s, seniors, middle aged men, sports enthusiasts, etc.) to introduce their product (this is called branding) but, most potently, encourage purchase of their product by encouraging you to believe that their product does certain things (i.e. if you buy this you will look younger, thinner, be more appealing, your kids will be healthier, be happier, smarter, more fit, etc.) and solve your problems. They will even go so far as to imply that if you don’t follow their lead you are ‘less than’ in whatever hat you are wearing at any given point in time.
I know, I’ve needed to prioritize my branding as well …. to think about my ‘target’ market, my potential customer base. I’ve had to make some tough choices but I am prioritizing integrity. When a potential ‘store’ makes a comment that they don’t care about product effectiveness – just the use of pretty packaging because people pay for this pretty packaging. Think about this ….. we, as consumers, have sustained this value. Hmmmmm? Now that I am aware of this ALL of my decisions center around NOT sustaining this value. And, despite understanding that the bottom line will be impacted I will NOT have my product name associated with this value.
Then ….. look at how a company prioritizes their $’s. How much does it cost for the ads, the actors/celebrities promoting the products. Then think about the decision making behind these priorities. Does it mean the companies are prioritizing the ‘healthiness’ of their products? Does it mean the companies are even caring about the CLEAR research behind the ingredients they put in their products and the dangers of these ingredients? There is no question it costs to prioritize health.
But, in my opinion, it is short term pain for long term gain on so many levels – the top of the list is ethics.
Be a critical thinker. It’s a challenge to NOT be susceptible. The most important thing is to be aware and discerning. In other words don’t just BELIEVE what you see/hear – check it out. Make informed decisions about where you put your hard earned money! EVERY dollar you spend does a job! But most importantly what you put either on your body or in your body. Once you are aware it is impossible to become unaware, lol.
It could mean the difference between experiencing quality of life as you proceed with your personal life adventure …. or not.