Tuesday November 16, 2021

I am doing a course on Future Learn on ‘The Secret power of Brands’. Power it is – thousands of people, millions of pounds, to discover how to part us from our money to buy product ‘x’ or ‘y’. The word ‘brand’ comes from old Norse, to burn’ Traditionally to mark your property, be it cow, handle of pick axe, or burn the name of your house on a piece of wood with a hot poker. I quote the course “It fills psychological needs; love, belonging, affiliation, achievement”. It could also be used to label, to stigmatise. War victims in concentration camps were marked for life by numbers on their fore-arms.

I was ‘branded’ the other day – and am questioning if I am getting ‘touchy’. I was in a hotel in Windsor, spoke to a few people. Then a couple just leaving came up to me – the lady “I said to my husband, we must speak to the old lady before we leave”. I was shocked, stupid, I know I am old. But never think age (other than being able to remember the war, austerity etc.) I have friends and acquaintances of all colours, creeds, nationalities, ages – they are just ‘people’. I felt I had been put into a category, and did not like it. The same week, another lady of ripe years (9 more than me), our Queen, had politely but firmly refused to be chosen as ‘The Oldie of the Year’ by that magazine.

On the course, we have an ‘assignment’, what ‘Brands’ mean to us. I thought of adverts or slogans which were etched on my memory (doubt if I ever bought the products) and why they were noticeable. ‘If you want to get ahead, get a hat’ (in the tube yonks ago). Then ‘superiority’, Burberry or Barbours, associated with the upper classes. The tutor showed four ties, all silk, two from markets £10 each, two from Libertys, £100 each. It was claimed that although the Liberty tie wearer did not show the label he ‘felt good’ because he could spend £100 on a tie. ‘Persil washes whiter’ (line of white nappies, ergo you were a better Mum). ‘What your right arm’s for’ (beer, did not notice brand). ‘Something happens after a Badedas bath’ (dashing man on white horse coming up drive). One could go on, it’s a fun game.

But I am feeling serious concern about the ‘power’ of advertising. Not just in the paper or commercial channels of our TV’s. It is insidious, manipulative, leads to jealousy, this wretched ‘street cred’, spending more than you can afford so your kids won’t feel deprived in the playground. Some companies, notably Coca Cola and Monsanto are always being sued. Many of the accusations are that they actually harm health. Some parts of India have banned Coca Cola. Monsanto gets rid of dodgy chemicals on poor countries. But they continue, getting richer – because they throw so much money in their ‘defence’ that nobody is powerful enough to make anything ‘stick’. Do you get cross/ignore ads? We’re impotent, I know.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 36 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.