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We live in an era defined, amongst other things, by the unparalleled barrage of content that blasts our eyes and ears throughout every hour of every single day.


Truly, it's exhausting to be alive in the contemporary media landscape.

Generations before had to deal with posters, billboards, and magazine advertisements, then radio commercials after that, and then TV commercials came along.

We thought the consumer seduction reached its peak with those.

But then, lo and behold, social media came about. And now the "information" peddled by brands and advertisers is everywhere. And so so much of it is misleading, or flat out incorrect.

Some Redditors shared the examples that came to mind.

Cameron213 asked, "What is a common misconception that only exists because of clever marketing?"

Many people chose to talk about the marketing efforts used to push health and nutrition products onto consumers.

It's no surprise that there were so many examples to choose from. People in contemporary times are obsessed with health, fitness, diet, and longevity.

So of course, marketers have taken some liberties.

"Zero"

"That things with 'zero sugar' can still have 0.2 grams of sugar per unit which is why tic tacs claim to be zero sugar but can still be dangerous for a diabetic person" -- Whynotgarlicbagel

"Always check the ingredients"

"I found some 'no added sugar' ice cream that had concentrated caramelised sugar syrup as a flavoring"

"Also no added sugar just means they haven't added any sugar. Not that it's zero sugar" -- EmergencyAdvance

The Natural World 

" 'Natural' food isn't your definition of natural." -- Gmax100

"Cyanide is natural" -- Izwe

"Everything is natural, nuclear power plants are as natural as beaver dams" -- Skylake52

The Anti-Fat Movement 

"Low fat is good for you. Well not just clever marketing, also lots of lobbying from the sugar industry" -- UltimateAnswer42

"That's a big one. Fat being the 'bad' macronutrient was something that took me a while to unlearn. I felt my healthiest when I ate a high fat, lower carb (50g or so) diet." -- Cameron213

Give Tators a Chance 

"White potatoes are somehow unhealthy even though they are a very nutritious starchy root VEGETABLE."

"Just because when you smother oil and ranch on it it becomes unhealthy does not mean potatoes themselves are unhealthy."

-- JenkinsRedditt

Leave It Alone 

"Vaginal odor being bad was a thing for a while, and that it could easily be corrected with over the counter treatments such as douching."

"First of all. A vagina is gonna smell like a vagina, not like flowers. If you're concerned about the way your vagina smells you should see a doctor."

"Second of all, the vagina is self-cleaning and doesn't need extra soaps to help keep it 'fresh.' In fact, those soaps and chemicals can cause harm and create real infections."

-- ZeD00m

Other people chose to point out the marketing efforts that have aimed to influence our expectations of culture and the social playing field.

What is "cool" and acceptable is what sells. The question is, who decides what is "cool?"

NOT Required 

"Makeup as a necessary norm." -- b2lose

"Man, FU** makeup! I don't wear it and have yet to have anyone I work with question my professionalism for it. I hate it, it's expensive, and I won't wear it." -- TheRedMaiden

"I love this, and I'll also throw in: shaving as a necessity. I've had so many people tell me it's 'unhygienic' for women to have leg hair." -- buriedclementines

Manufactured Status 

"That teenagers are cool, tbh. Teen culture is 95% manufactured by suits trying to make a buck." -- crookedhope

"When have teenagers ever been cool to anyone but themselves?" -- troomer50

"right? this kills me as an adult. all the cool teenager sh** that 'parents don't understand' was absolutely designed by grown a** dorks just like their parents." -- likearealreptile

Passing the Buck 

"The notion that climate change needs to be combated by individuals making changes in their day to day lives by buying green products. Corporations, global shipping, and factory farms all contribute massive amounts of pollution and greenhouse gasses that can't be offset by using less straws or buying a hybrid car."

"An entire city's worth of individuals couldn't even come close to offsetting the pollution created by a handful of ships used for global shipping, yet advertising would have you think that individuals could replace real systemic change and regulation."

-- marcusjohnston

And then there was one total, bald-faced lie. It had to do with an upsettingly common purchase that comes with an arbitrarily high price tag.

Maybe it's time to rethink it.

Pulling the Strings of Supply and Demand

"That diamonds are rare." -- icecreamterror

"That you should spend so much on a diamond and wedding, but can barely scrape by. Sure, let's throw a $30k banquet then go jumpstart the car again to get home." -- Choontz

"Futhermore on this; that 'cognac' diamonds are a desirable colour in a diamond, and are worth more than colourless. Jewellers originally struggled to sell stones of this colour so came up with a marketing concept to make them seem more unique, more special, and just as desirable as, or moreso than, colourless diamonds (which are generally far rarer, particularly if they are classified as flawless with few/imperceptible inclusions)."

"Similar idea with "champagne" diamonds...they were given this name to make them sound more appealing, too, so jewellers could still use them and increase the volume of jewellery they produce and sell." -- teenytinytinkerer


Of course, this list is so far from exhaustive. Pay attention for just the next few hours and I'm sure you'll come up with your own list of at least ten in no time.

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