Move over Viral Marketing, “False Memory Marketing” is the next trend.
This extremely disturbing article in the Guardian points out that marketing can actually create false memories in consumers. Consumers “remember” using products that didn’t previously exist or having other childhood experiences because of advertising or product branding. For example, consumers report drinking bottles of Stewart’s root beer in childhood when it’s only been bottled for the last ten years. The bottles are marketed as “original”, “old-fashioned” and “Since 1927.”
“This brings forth ethical considerations. Is it OK for marketers to knowingly manipulate consumers’ past?
“On one hand, the alteration will occur whether or not that was the intent of the marketer given the reconstructive nature of recall.
On the other hand, there are ways in which the marketer can enhance the likelihood consumer memories will be consistent with their advertising messages. At the very least, consumers ought to be aware of that power.”
Then again, maybe this isn’t news. I vaguely remember reading this same article when I was young. Someone, please reassure me that “Joe Louis” existed before 1975!