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Sense the nonsense

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)

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Sense the nonsense

 

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Sense the nonsense

Emotional Language: Appeal to status

Some kind of respectable status is one of those things nearly everyone strives for. However there are different ways people take to get to this desired position.

In some cases uniqueness is the primary goal and thus anything that can bring it, is highly welcomed. Big names, labels and brands is surely one of the most common ways of doing it. Often people buy special products from largely advertised expensive companies in the warm outlook that this will bring them some sort of similar distinction as it brought to those faces that in fact stand behind them. It is almost staggering how one ball point pen for $150 can make someone feel more important, confident, secure or special. Still, it is gloomy when these feelings are based merely on the type of physical things that these people are surrounded with.

This appeal is well known by above mentioned type of companies which deliberately use slogans that speak about status, such as:”Think different” or “Because you’re worth it“. And out of the experience we can say that it surely works just fine.

At last, I would like to say again that there is nothing wrong with these things alone, for I believe it is positively wonderful to be able to afford not only to pay the regular, but also to choose from the variety of fascinating products market offers us. Yet, there is probably something erroneous if a person refuses to eat your baked chicken with rice and goes afterwards to order – arroz con pollo.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Mission, Sense the nonsense

 

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Sense the nonsense

Emotional Language: Appeal to love/appeal to trust (argumentum ad amicitiam)

When interacting with people around we often have to face one specific formulation of a demand or request. Especially some of those in relationships and marriages have to deal with this almost regularly. While conflict is nearly inevitable situation which we sooner or later have to deal with, bringing up relationship or trust into it is only rarely a good way to do it.

When your partner disagrees with you and says something like this: “If you do not agree with me, you don’t love me” or “If you really trusted me, then you’d go along with me.” After this kind of request or statement you are put into a very bad position in which you are forced to choose between the two, but obviously there are other solutions. I can deeply love someone without agreeing with what he just said, can’t I? I can also have a general trust in my friend, while not following his lead for some other reasons. Moreover just because of our relationship I can disagree with my friend who is about to take his fourth drink, which would at this point be clearly too much for him.

Therefore it is not right to make demands based solely on a ground of feelings, for they are not by themselves based on a reasonable foundation. However we can surely decide to consent to them anyway, even if they are unreasonable,… but that is a completely different story :). What is important, is that we are aware of this and our own decisions are not merely manipulated by these unfair emotional appeals.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Mission, Sense the nonsense

 

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