marketing and advertising

Bongiorno from Tarvisio, 

   I don’t get why car racing is classified as a sport. I don’t get why Asian women with beautiful complexions want to lighten their skin. And I don’t get why people choose to wear conspicuous brand names. While these things puzzle me, I’m completely flummoxed on another modern phenomenon: why people buy bottled water. I believe this is a wonder shared by Linda and Dame Edna Everage, too. 

clever marketing

  In places where the reticulated water may have a sulphurous taste or contain arsenic traces or be not potable for other reasons, fair enough. But, what about in places where the water is perfectly good? There is a mystery here; something to do with clever marketing.

    The mystery deepens here in the Dolomites (northern Italy) where the water is superb. And also, in the Austrian Alps, where the water is piped for hundreds of kilometres across the country to cities like Vienna and Salzburg, at the end of which journey there is still no need for any processing or for any additives. In Tarvisio here in Italy, I counted the number of brands of bottled water in the local supermarket. There are no fewer than 29 of them. In a place where the water is as pure as it gets! What is going on?

      So, why do some people pay money for bottled water? Some will say, we pay for reticulated water, too. But, clearly, the price differential is not one to motivate people to buy the bottles. Not logically, anyway.

Some will argue that – in an active lifestyle – it’s handy to have water in a receptacle wherever we go. But, why can’t we simply fill up from the taps? Especially here in Italy where running water has been a feature of urban life for centuries!

My theory is that we have been systematically duped by the marketeers to believe that everything processed is superior to everything natural. Everything modern is superior to everything old. Natural is backward. Packaged is better because it has been through a purification process. And that’s better than anything nature can do. You have to hand it to these marketing gurus. If they can encourage us to pay for something which is ostensibly free, they must have a rare skill. 

Tarvisio, northern Italy
distortions from marketing

   This is proof yet again – if we still need it – that the marketing and advertising industry is distorting our society. People with these skills are needed elsewhere: as engineers, as teachers, as policy makers. They are wasted in such an unproductive field. Why are they putting all their creative energy into selling us toothpaste and dog food when they could be doing something of real worth?

    It’s a bit odd that we continue to tolerate such wanton misallocation of resources. I don’t get it.
Arrivederci from the Dolomiti


Other photos from hereabouts


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