Fight the Power

I urge you to listen to the 99 Percent Invisible episode "Flying Food"; it describes the relatively recent history of food advertising, and how innovators learned to make food look incredibly appealing-- to make food a delicious and dynamic subject that actually produces a visceral cravings in viewers-- but the important thing to remember, if you don't want to start salivating for burgers and fries every time you watch TV (because we eat WAY too much meat . . . for more on that topic, watch this TED talk by Times food writer Mark Bittman) then you need to remember that the actor who takes a bite out of the perfectly prepared burger and makes that orgasmically satisfied face, probably did that sixty-four times-- until he got the face just right-- and all the times previous, he spit the half chewed bite of burger and bun into a bucket-- the infamous spit bucket-- and if you can think of this image every time you see a delicious food image on TV, the image of the actor spitting a half-chewed bit of that burger or rib or donut into the spit bucket next to the set, a metal bucket slowing filling with half-digested chunks of meat and bread, covered in saliva-- then you are short-circuiting a habit routine . . . and to learn about this, read Charles Duhigg's book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business; you'll learn how to change the middle portion of the cue/routine/reward subroutines that are happening all the time in our lives; in this particular instance, you'll get the same cue-- a commercial with delicious looking food-- but you will go into a different routine, where you talk graphically about the spit bucket with whoever is in the room, and the reward will be that you don't salivate and desire the unhealthy food, but instead share a trade secret that might help others fight the power of this advertising as well (but you'll actually probably come off as a righteous pedant, which is what Dave is all about).

6 comments:

Lecky said...

If beer commercials initiate your cue/routine/reward subroutines to get liquored up and have a good time, you should watch the SNL "Schmitz Gay" commercial - unless you are actually gay, then you should probably skip that one...

Your call Dave

Dave said...

i love that one! platonically . . .

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