How big business is turning us all into big babies

How big business is turning us all into big babiesHi, I’m a lovely blog post. How are you today? Are you having some fun? I hope so.

I think it’s great that you’ve decided to stop by. It’ll make me sad if you get angry after you’ve read me. But, hey, it’ll make me smile if you leave a comment. Do you like the word, cuddle? Well, I really hope that you’ll feel like you’ve been cuddled after you’ve got to the end.

Annoyed yet?

Over a decade ago Innocent Smoothies started off an unwelcome, vomit inducing trend: “wackaging”. It began putting little woolly hats on its bottles. Before you knew it big business started to treat adults as thought they were their best friends or children. Indeed,

… an awful lot of packaging has an overly twee bent. “Since Innocent began, lots of brands have emerged who have a more human and informal tone of voice on their packaging,” acknowledges Bright. “We think this can only be a good thing.”

The Worst Superhero Ever .... Nappy Man

The Worst Superhero Ever …. Nappy Man

And it doesn’t just stop at physical products too. For example, this website says:

We use cookies (not the yummy ones!) to make our website easy + fun to use.

Then it invites the user to click, “okie dokie”.

Unfortunately, this approach shows no sign of dying out, in fact it’s growing.

For a child ….

as he matures into adolescence his capacity for reason emerges and what he recognizes as his constitution, or self, is crucially transformed. Where he previously identified his constitution as his body, he begins to identify his constitution instead with his mental faculty (reason) in a certain relation to his body. In short, the self that he now loves is his rationality.

I would argue that this approach tries to induce a relentless need for positive thinking and affects the ability to reason correctly. Why can’t company’s present product facts in a straightforward way to the consumer instead of putting images next to only the healthy ingredients? Could this considered to be misleading for the consumer? Why not acknowledge the reality of what the product contains so we can make a reasoned choice about buying it or not? As Marcus Aurelius said:

Make for yourself a definition or description of the thing which is presented to you, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety, and tell yourself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it has been compounded, and into which it will be resolved. For nothing is so productive of elevation of mind as to be able to examine methodically and truly every object that is presented to you in life, and always to look at things so as to see at the same time what kind of universe this is, and what kind of use everything performs in it, and what value everything has with reference to the whole.

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, iii. 11

Innocent Smoothy

The end of civilization as we know it …

In a similar way to the Nudge unit of the Government, commercial copywriters manipulate public perception, en masse. Sorry, that should be, “presents us with information in a fun way to make desired choices”. For me all wackaging does it make people mad and promotes a desire to avoid hard facts.

By highlighting fun over reason then opinions become coupled to emotions. And we need reason to prevent incorrect opinion, poor judgements and lack of virtue.

What prevents unhappiness? Reason does, not a little hat on a bottle of fruit smoothie.

Photo credits:
marc falardeau / Foter.com / CC BY
DG Jones / Foter.com / CC BY-NC


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