Sense the nonsense

15 Mar

Emotional Language: Appeal to the bandwagon

Very similar to the appeal to status is appeal to the bandwagon, however now it is not about our uniqueness but on the contrary, its about our need to belong.

Different groups of people hold various biases both positive and negative towards certain brands, products, behavior and altogether certain lifestyle. We can find these groups in all sizes. It can start already in an elementary school, when your mom adds to your lunch bag raw vegetables like broccoli or carrot, which was at least in my days highly “not cool”. But there are certain trends also on municipal or national levels. For instance in Denmark you can find a variety of groceries stores. Names (some of which you may recognize) like Rema1000, Netto, Coop, Føtex, Fakta, SuperBrugsen, SuperSpar or Kiwi fill the danish market with food for everyday and while surely you’d be able to find some diversity over these as well, majority of Danes consider two particular stores – ALDI and LIDL – to appear on the very bottom of this chart. Yet dozens of other things come into picture as well, like what you wear, what you listen to, what books do you read, what phone or computer do you own, what restaurants do you go eat to (I guess you would not invite your CEO to McDonald’s unless you have an excessively familiar working environment)  or whether you travel enough (as that is what all the people of quality do…).

If we again want to recognize this appeal in commercial slogans this time we’re looking for words like “4 out of 5 doctors recommend X” or “ten million housewives are using Y”.

Whether there is a strong aversion or popularity towards something it is not yet a proof of it’s worth or value per se and while these commercials, public opinions and biases of our friends can carry some truth, until this point we haven’t heard a single good reason why should we use X or Y, or not go shopping to ALDI or LIDL, besides keeping up with others. (I personally shopped in ALDI and LIDL and I was more than satisfied with both prices and quality of their products)

As usually I would again like to point out that bandwagons are not wrong in themselves. They can point to a large number of customers truly satisfied with a high-quality product (or vice versa), but they can also be just an outcome of a mere good advertising, publicity and salesmanship of a merchandise that is perfectly average, while there is something else out there that is way better and cheaper.

As long as people are on the Earth so will be the need to belong and we should be wise in determining when is the right time to be fully reasonable, use our logic and determine what is the best possible solution regardless of what others may think; and on the other hand, when should we intentionally overlook the smart way in order to achieve something greater or avoid unnecessary troubles. (I am thankful for the healthy upbringing I got, yet at times I wonder whether those few extra nutrition were worth some of the painful comments I received from my classmates)

1 Comment

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Sense the nonsense


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