Exploiting the Ignorant and the Innocent

Advertisers have found another way to hide in plain sight – with clever little documentaries that people share via their favourite social network site. Fooled you again!

The first one I caught was on Netflix, called Inside: McDonald’s. I was seeking more truths about this huge exploitative corporation (which warrants a full chapter in my book), but was subjected instead to a huge pile of steaming propaganda, cleverly disguised as investigative something-or-other. I wouldn’t call it journalism. Shame on Netflix for calling it a documentary.

This morning, my inbox featured a smaller documentary, made by Dole banana-harvesters and distributors. Someone commented, “I’m surprised, after watching this, that bananas aren’t more expensive.” Another person noted “The things you learn on the Internet!” and a third comment implied “I will never take bananas for granted again.”

You know what this tells me?
That Dole was very successful in convincing at least three viewers that their bananas were:
a) Different in some way from other bananas (which grow very nicely in the wild, thank you very much)
b) Worth more than they are currently priced (are you kidding me?)
c) The result of a complex process of quality selection (as opposed to a colossal waste of rejected ones)

Oh, the innocence. Oh, the ignorance. Oh, how advertisers love to do this. And they do it so well, don’t they?

Even monkees know better.

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