eTalks – The Secrets of Food Marketing

eTalks – The Secrets of Food Marketing

I’m going to give you some of the secrets about how we make you buy what we want you to buy. So, as a marketer, when I’m first giving you a product, what’s my job? Well, my job is to make you want it, to crave it, to need it. To think that is the best innovation in food since, well, since sliced bread. But how do we do it? Well I’m going to give you a really big example later that I’m going to break right down for you, but let’s just start by look at a few fun little things. So here we have ‘Shreddies’, an old favourite, been around for years, very popular in the UK and Canada. Without changing a single little thing about that product, they re-marketed them, re-branded them, as brand new ‘Diamond Shaped Shreddies’. Food marketing genuis right there. In the 1950s there was a very important innovation in food, the instant mix cake. One of my personal favourites. When they were first brought out all you needed to do was to add a little bit of water, who’s not going to love that? Well actually no one loved it, no one bought the bloody things. So they did a bit of research and what they found was that the main consumer, the target consumer, the housewife, felt that it was cheating. They didn’t want to pass off such an easy thing as their own baking to their partners, their husbands, their families, whatever. So what did the producers have to do? They had to make it harder, so now you had to add water and an egg. And sales eggsploded! But these examples, these are just chicken feed compared to what I really want to talk about tonight, and that is chickens, and pigs and cows. So when we think about where chickens etcetera come from, we think about it a bit like that, that’s sort of our insinctive idea. But we all know if we really think about it, if we think about it deeply, it’s probably a little bit more like that. But that’s a lot nicer, it’s a lot more romantic. So how do we give you this impression? Well, there are three techniques that we use, the third of which is our secret weapon and I am going to blow it for you tonight so please stay primed for that. Let’s look at technique number one: everybody believes what’s on the label. So let’s look at some examples, some of my favourites, some of the ones I use all the time. I’ll use ‘Farm Fresh’, I’ll use ‘100% natural, I’ll use ‘Butcher’s choice’. But what does that really actually mean? Well truthfully it doesn’t mean very much. We see that on the label, we feel a bit more confident. But let’s look at what a farm really looks like, it probably looks like that. Now this is a concentrated animal feeding operation. I’m going to run that past you again, it’s a concentrated animal feeding operation. That’s not going to look great on a label, hence we use ‘Farm Fresh’. Innovation number two, this is what we use, we focus on progress. Intensive farming was born out of necessity. At the end of the Second World War, resources were extremely tight. Farming had to be, it had to be by necessity very, very economical. And we’ve learnt from that and we’ve built from that and we’re able to now raise more and more animals in smaller and smaller spaces. So we’ve got extremely good at it. If we looked at room about this size and this was turned into a chicken barn, it’s a one hundred seat theatre, how many chickens could we probably fit in this room now? I’m going to say about four thousand. It’s pretty impressive isn’t it? It would probably look a little bit like that. Now the public aren’t going to be massively keen on that, it’s my job to make them feel a little bit better about it. So how do I do it? Well, a basic principal in marketing. We use the right choice of words, and by using the right choice of words, we can focus the conversation the way we want it to. So we use an example like this. When you look at that picture where is your eye drawn? It’s drawn right to the middle of the page, massive letters, we’ve got ‘strive to optimize’. What we’re looking at in the picture, in reverse, looks a bit like that. But this looks a lot nicer because we’re looking at ‘strive to optimize’, it makes us feel like there’s progress, we feel good. So the challenge for the marketers is to make the public feel comfortable about what they’re seeing. One of the side effects of intensive farming, of having so many animals in such a small space, unfortunatly, is obviously disease. Because you put so many animals in a small space, they’re going to get sick. It is no secret that fifty percent of all the antibiotics in the world are used on farmed animals. So how do you make the public feel okay with this? How does that happen? My Job! How do I do it? I use the language of innovation. So we go back to our old friends at, and what they do is, they say: As farming has become more efficient, veterinarians have incorporated new technologies and methods into practice. This makes us feel good, this is positive, yes? This is progress. And when we’re then marketing to future consumers, we would perhaps use something like this. This is a colouring book. ‘Pigs and Pork’. It’s absolutely gorgeous. What we’re doing here is we’re getting the children to focus on the fact that we’re using innovation. So by bringing the pigs out from the muddy fields and into the clean barns, we’re taking them away from all that nasty dirty mud and all the diseases that are lurking there within. Positive. So onto our secret weapon, this is what we really need to focus on. So these two techniques alone, they are not going to work, we need a secret weapon, number three. It is actually in this room right now. *Calls out* Secret weapon! It is… You! But how do we do it? When you’re in the supermarket, you don’t want to want to think about where those products have come from. You don’t want to think about how those animals have been reared, how they’ve been treated. The power of willful ignorance cannot be overstated. This is systemised cruelty on a massive scale, and we only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way. Thank you.

48 thoughts on “eTalks – The Secrets of Food Marketing”

  1. This video is one of the best videos on how people can be manipulated. It looks so fake but only a few people in the comments realized. There is no way that such talk if it was real, hasn't got any applause or hand claps, at least one person from the audience. That sound how she walks away without single person clapping the hands is fake and added there additionally. At least it looks like to me.

    I read a book Ted talks at the moment and also study psychology in my free time. It is not possible for all the people in the hall that not a single person clapped their hands or started to talk about something when she walked away. You could hear at least some turmoil in the background. And nobody of you noticed. Easily manipulated people on youtube. Of course, I don't agree with killing animals.

  2. Selective ignorance is like anti-depressant, it might help in mask the suffering for a short while, but the route cause is unchanged. Support local supplier, help setup local suppliers and make that small change which will help the bigger changes.

  3. While the presentation is compelling, the repetitive showing disgusted audience members is silly and trivial. I don't need someone else's reaction to help me form my own opinion. The speaker does an excellent job at convincing without the condescending theatrics. Pretty lame. I had to give this video a thumbs down for this reason even though I am going vegan slowly but surely. This is a common theme among vegetarians and vegans–trying to force their opinion on others. It's annoying. If your activism is not working, don't get desperate. Just try something different, not this hacksaw propaganda bullshits for idiots.

  4. What absolute bollox. Shes blaming the consumer for the farmer thats abusing animals.
    Right up there with……"we had to over throw your leader because he wouldnt give us your oil as you wanted it for yourselves" and as ususl not one mention of halal cruelty or the tescos.

  5. Bitching about something, fighting to end something, without a system to replace it, is always a recipe for disaster. Every single time something that was perceived evil, was thrown out without a system to replace it, things 100% of the time turned out for the worst. This is useless and meaningless on it's own.

  6. If you have your own farm, eat all the meat you want or buy someone who grows healthy animals, because the proteins and lipids you talk about will not get them from the supermarket (large factories) are carcinogenic. Also contribute to pollution and global warming

  7. arrrr….too good.

  8. It's so easy to make a change. Just start with yourself. Minimize animal product consumption. It will make an immense difference in the world. Usually people think "I'm just one person what can I change", but guess what 7 billion people are thinking the same.

  9. and no one claps at the end. No one moves. No one whispers. They feel cheated and angry, but not at themselves. Or the animal cruelty culprits. But her. For opening their eyes that they willfully shut.

  10. I hate her so much right now!
    Ofc i condamn myself, but its easier to focus on other people. specially when they are so cheerfull while doing it 😀

  11. She is so smart. But i need to know did she come to talk about marketing or about animal cruelty? Which one was her real purpose?

  12. I think this lady ; she’s probably a Doctor or Professor of something or other; could have been even more brutal and savagely honest about how we farm and treat the animals on which we rely for our food.
    The chickens she showed in her presentation/ lecture were the pretty ones we expect to see, not the very immature barely covered in feathers ones they use for battery farming. The intensive way we feed and rear the animals we eat is pretty scandalous too. It’s not the nice friendly image of a farmer’s wife spreading chicken feed on the ground for the hens to peck at and get fat ! No. Nor is it the traditional image of the farmer milking the cow 🐄 with a bucket, sat on a stool squeezing the milk 🥛 out of each teat until the bucket is full. No no! We have machines which do all this now

  13. I propose making a new brand of marketing called ethical marketing. They tell you to be ethical in every career, but not many people follow it when they're working for someone.

    If we make it a new branch, we can create a new wave of ethical marketers specialized in working without being manipulative and working for businesses with better ethics, or for good purposes like cancer prevention.

  14. I don't know if they were trying to teach me how to sell these awfully created products or educate me on how this is wrong. She should've stopped smiling when she was showing those terrible pics tho

  15. Good presentation but I don't really agree with the tone of voice she uses at the end of it. The objective of the presentation was to reveal the dirty tricks of advertisers, who she is one of. So telling people that "we have been deceitfully misinform you" then blaiming them for being misinformed is hardly fair, isn't it?
    How can you she that people are willfully ignorant when she also say that they are psychologically manipulate consumers and feed false or misleading information to them?
    You can't turn a blind eye to cruelty to animals if you don't know it happens. In this very presentation she acts as a marketing expert and manipulates the audience using the blaming the victim logical fallacy and it works.

  16. can i just point out for a second that in their credits they thank the following people:

    Paleoanthropologist: Ella Murray

    Astrophysicist: Ricarda Beckmann

    Burlesque Dancer: Scarlette Belle


  17. Примерно догадываюсь…перевод…мне стыдно, что незнаю английский

  18. No it's not me. It's a trick #4 where consumers are blamed for wrongdoings of greedy bastards corporations. It's THEM.

  19. This video is an ad for veganism. It’s literally in the description, complete with editor, producer, actors, etc. Just wow! Brilliant advertisement! Especially the end where she exits with no music to make it feel very sobering and real. This is an AD. A great one at that. Lots of products are being sold here. Vegans purchase food too, lots of processed food as well.

  20. Damm… I was only looking for an example of what food marketing is like.

    Now I feel like this woman is telling me not to.

  21. She is one of the finest presentator or better an orator ever. I was well good presentator in my clg n got a chance to give couple of lectures.So i must say- i know the power and ettiquettes ,efforts behind such public dealing on speaking. kudos to her.

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