The Wall Street Journal:
Many are the tricks that companies use to win our business. As Martin Lindstrom reminds us in “Brandwashed,” marketers make sneaky appeals to our fears and desires, leverage our social connections to maximize peer pressure, dazzle us with tinfoil celebrity and lure us with sexual come-ons that would embarrass a bawd.
Mr. Lindstrom has made his living in the business he now proposes to expose. His specialty has been using the tools of brain science to help marketers press subconscious buttons. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of the world’s most influential thinkers. But on the evidence of “Brandwashed,” influential does not necessarily mean “careful” or “accurate.”
Take Mr. Lindstrom’s analysis of how memory clouds judgment. After noting that marketers make appeals to nostalgia, he tries to show its addling effects by citing an American woman he knows who grew up in Paris and who loves Mars bars—the ones from France. She believes that “the U.S. version cannot compare with the taste of the Mars bars she snacked on growing up.”
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