Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Enemy Propaganda in a Giant Tub of Cola

I recently watched what was considered the fifth most popular YouTube video in Canada. It was titled something like "Dude jumps in a giant pool of Coca-Cola". The video showed just that, a guy jump into an outdoor pool full of coke, takes a 2-litre bottle branded with the Coca-Cola logo on it and pours it over is head and goes on about how awesome it is.

In the comments section, viewers (of which there were over a million) lamented about how far YouTubers would go just to make a popular video, and how they would be willing to spend so much money on coke. I thought those commenters were rather naive, as there is enough evidence to show that the YouTuber didn't pay for the coke - the Coca-Cola company, or perhaps a public relations firm it hired did. Remember, this was not a pool of Pepsi, or simply a pool of a cola beverage, no, it was specifically a pool of Coca-Cola. Herein lies the genius of the enemy propaganda marketing messages - they are embedded in all aspects of the media, not just the commercials.

Advertisers know well that people are not big fans of commercials, and will often try to ignore or avoid them. And so, the advertisers turn what's know as public relations (PR) to ensure they get there propaganda messages into everyone's head. To this extent about half of the articles in the newspaper are actually PR messages, according to the documentary "Toxic Waste is Good for You." The main goal of the corporations marketing department is to get what's called top-of-mind-awareness of the commodity they sell. They will do this through advertising and PR messages. You will often sees these messages in tandem, such as where you see a glowing review for a car one page of a magazine, and an advertisement for that very same car on the very next page.

And so sadly, there is really no escape from enemy propaganda, as long as one consumes almost any mass media. Commercial free options like Netflix exist, but how many of those Netflix films or TV shows are depicting smoking as cool, or discussing Coca-Cola, or portraying the acquisition of any commodity as cool? It's certainly more than a few.

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