Dawn's Reviews > Brandwashed

Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom
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Sep 07, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, knowledge-nf
Read from September 29 to October 08, 2011

Did not really enjoy this book at all. I much preferred Buyology, the author's previous book.

For a book called Brandwashed there was sure a lot of name dropping of brands involved. I wonder if they were paid endorsements? After all if looking at a celebrity spokesperson changes the way you think about a brand (literally, in your brain), then maybe reading about a brand countless times in a book will make your brain associate the brand with the book, or maybe all books (haha). Other times the author would have to keep the identity under wraps because he was sworn to secrecy. Just never mention any brands, and problem solved.

I felt the stories and examples weren't organized well. It seemed to jump around quite a bit hitting on various topics then doubling back, more like many already-written articles that were just organized into a book. There also didn't seem to be much advice for avoiding falling prey to much of the marketing described (beyond don't eat acai berries, which you should already know).

Finally some of the claims seem dubious. The author states that people are more likely to make a "green" purchase in the store where people can see them, and less likely to do so online, where they are unseen. It appears to be more of an ego thing than an eco thing. His example involves energy-efficient light bulbs being bought in stores, and cheap incandescents bought online. However, if you're buying light bulbs online maybe your frugality is the motivating factor? Or you don't want to ship CFL's because of their mercury? There could be other factors, so it seems like a giant leap to claim that it's because there's no one watching you. I was also curious about the author's mention of how green purchases can make people more likely to do something less eco friendly in the future because they've already "done their part". He mentions that Prius owners drive more miles, get into more accidents, and even hit more pedestrians. I though that seemed weird so I looked up his source (a blog, which referenced other blogs) and found that the original blog was about hybrid cars' lack of noise. Apparently, in electric mode the engines shut off, so pedestrians can't hear the cars coming, and apparently step in front of them. This seems to differ from his inference that Prius owners think they're being good to the earth and thus don't mind hitting a pedestrian every once in a while. After reading that I was questioning his research, and it definitely diminished my enjoyment of the book. I would not recommend it.

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