Capitalism means we must be aware of when we are being swindled.
Strategy and underhandedness go hand in hand when money is at stake. So of course, every business in America sells a piece of their merchandise with an extra price tag attached: the lie they told to sell it. And we want to know when we're being manipulated.
So u/ActiveStrike asked Reddit:
What myth did a company invent to sell their products?
Here were some of the answers.
I remember reading about a company that sold canned tuna advertising its product as being "guaranteed not to turn black in the can!" Of course, tuna would never turn black in the can, but by saying it won't, it implied that competing brands did sell tuna that turned black in the can.
The inventors of OxyContin tried to convince the public that it was a addictive-free version of oxycodone. They blatantly lied and were sued for like $500 mil a while back.
Ivory soap. "So pure it floats". They whip air into the mixture, it has nothing to do with purity.
Alka-Seltzer increased sales by changing the recommended dose to two tablets instead of one. The famous "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" marketing campaign was only to increase sales, not based on real medical advice.
A counter example: Wonder Bread was widely mocked for their slogan "Builds Strong Bodies Twelve Ways," since it was just white bread with some added artificial vitamins. As natural foods became more popular, that was regarded as an advertising myth.
I Wish It Was Healthy
Nutella told people their products were a healthy alternative.
That your teeth are supposed to be #ffffff white.
That beer will spoil if it goes from cold to hot. Coors started this because they had refrigerated trucks and pushed that always cold thing. In reality most beer is going from cold to hot multiple times while being shipped out. The real enemy of beer is light and time.
Diamonds are forever. Diamonds are a girls best friend. Two months salary!
I hear soda companies switched from glass to plastic as a cost saving measure, claiming they were more convenient as you can just throw them away rather than bringing the bottles back for cleaning and refilling. They then blamed consumers for all the additional plastic trash.
My grandpa used to tell me the story of how he was friends with the guy who created the beverage "Talking Rain". The sparkling water became very popular in the 90's and came in a bottle with the story of how the native people of the area found a bubbling spring that seemed to talk as rain fell into it or something. This magical water became the source for Talking Rain. But that was all of course just a lie the guy made up to sell carbonated tap water to idiots.
It's A Rock
Putting some holes in a cardboard box for a Pet Rock to breathe was one of the most inspired advertising ploys ever. Freaking brilliant.
Did They Do Anything?
That my sea monkeys were going to be my new friends.
Still Has Cancer
The slogan 'More Doctors Smoke Camels', implying that Camel cigarettes were some sort of 'healthy' cigarette recommended by doctors.
A Four Leaf Clover
Clover used to be an intentional part of the American lawn prior to WW2. It thrives in poor soil, fixes its own nitrogen and can survive drought conditions and was deliberately added to assist with the growth of the surrounding grass.
Once weed killer came to market post WW2, it wasn't long before chemical companies successfully re-branded clover as a weed. Clover is a broad leaf plant and was unintentionally killed alongside the other "unfavorable weeds" so it was successfully removed from the picturesque perfect American lawn by chemical companies.
Stuff For HER
All cosmetics company claiming male and female need a different soaps/shampoo/razors...
Lately some even tried to apply the gendered marketing to yogurt, toothpaste, handkerchief or pens.
Rinse and Repeat on shampoo bottles was designed to sell more shampoo.
That the ink cartridge is actually empty.
11 Herbs And Lie-ces
I did some research on why KFC is THE food to eat for Christmas in Japan and found this:
According to brand legend, there were some American tourists in Japan during the Christmas holidays back in the 70s. When they couldn't find roast turkey for their holiday meal, they got the next best thing - a bucket of KFC fried chicken.
A manager at the local store saw it, told some higher-ups, and eventually the marketing team started advertising it as a Christmas tradition to the point that it actually became such a popular tradition you now have to reserve your chicken weeks in advance.
Men Can Handle A Suit
Dockers invented Business Casual to sell more khaki slacks and help get men out of wearing suits to work as much.