Fear [not]! The marketing trick to be aware of.

Anoter Thursday is upon us and it’s time for …



Sex sells – we all know it [and probably are opposed to the sexism part of it but this is a discussion for another day]. You know what else sells?


It’s a powerful emotion because nobody wants to be feel it and will do anything to avoid it. No surprise – but all the more enraging – that clever marketing makes use of this. My latest reminder came in the form of a popular media figure’s newsletter I signed up for eons ago and – don’t tell me you can’t relate – was too lazy to unsubscribe from. Anyway, aforementioned mail dove into memories of past holidays, nostalgia of indulging in the many seasonal treats available in stores. Only to abruptly go into the horrors hiding in these. All the nasty ingredients threatening to poison you.

But fear not: the wonderful sender of this mail obviously has a ton of recipes – actually a book, too, how neat! – to offer that will sub in for any of the bad, no, horrific treats you’re craving. As long as a) you can pretend a sugar-free whole grain cookie tastes as good as your favourite seasonal candy cane Oreos or chocolates and b) keep carrying a boatload of them around with you to any holiday party you’re attending.


If it was only about food: annoying enough. But it doesn’t end there. According to the source above you’re also putting yourself under an immense risk of disease every time you – take a shower. No typo. Shocking, isn’t it? So, tell me: of exactly how many people have you heard dying from toxins caught in the shower?

This is what irks me the most: the lacking proof to back up any of those claims. We all know that eating too much sugar isn’t healthy. We all know pesticides and GMOs aren’t our friends.If you believed every new study or article published there would be one thing left to consume. Or maybe not if we believe above shower horror story … I believe common sense gets us far enough. Even those just starting out on their journey to making healthier choices don’t need to be scared into doing so. Sugar won’t kill you and neither will meat. There’s no need for extremes but all the more need for consumers critically questioning sensational and shocking headlines and marketing claims.

Balance. Moderation. These are the keywords you need. No black and white thinking.

If you can still grab a bag of chips or bar of your favourite chocolate without at least a twinge of guilt after reading the many posts of healthy advice out there: congrats! You just proved that you’re not falling prey to the marketers that want you to shiver thinking about your next shower or attend a spontaneous get-together with friends.


It makes me ragey to see how big influencers abuse their power to scare people. Fear-force them into buying their products. Show me the long-term studies you found your statements on – but don’t try to lure people into buying your latest cleanse, books, vitamin waters or toxine-free pillows through fear or shame. There are enough real issues to worry about in the world so using fear as a marketing tactic is downright repulsive. What will eventually come about it – other than the cash piling up on the bank accounts of the holier-than-thou health ‘experts’ – is chronic misinformation, hypochondrias and confusion. Once you’re convinced all of these fear-mongering claims are true living a normal carefree life becomes a lot harder.

Say no to the fear-mongering. Eat your favourite childhood treats and your broccoli. Be a badass rebel and take all the showers you want. Because life is too short to worry about every step you take.


Happiness-inducing today: Other than some days, there was just too much to list here. One of the cutest was a child at my current ‘job’ cheering me on during a game of  Mensch ärgere dich nicht [similar to Ludo]. I almost won, too ;).

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living


Have you noticed this issue before? What are you thoughts on it? Any other marketing tricks that bother you? Shame is another one that makes me sad to see all around,

10 thoughts on “Fear [not]! The marketing trick to be aware of.

  1. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    Definitely noticed people using fear as a way to push things on us — especially in the health/fitness industry. And the bad part about that is using fear isn’t a way to get people to stick to something in the long term or change their lifestyle habits… They might do something for a little while until they start feeling more comfortable, and then go right back to what they were doing before. I’m all for sucking people in with positivity 😉

  2. Ellie says:

    I also think people are afraid of losing “balance and moderation”. It’s the holidays! People need not fear of eating too many sweets sometimes or enjoying themselves. That’s a part of the season. Have you ever been talking with friends and, when thinking back on a memory said “Oh I remember that holiday party where I perfectly balanced my plate!” NEVER! You hear “Oh yea the party where I ate my weight in cream puffs! That was awesome!” Losing balance is ok to make memories fun 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      That’s a great point, Ellie. Years from now we won’t remember what we ate but the experiences made. Or missed out on if fear held us back. Also: cream puffs! These bring back good memories of my childhood – those where balance clearly was absent for a moment ;).

  3. mylittletablespoon says:

    Yes – it makes me pretty sad. I like to think I’m a pretty smart, independent thinking woman, and yet I know I have – subconsciously – been made to fear certain things from media. Sometimes I don’t even realize the “fear” thats been set in me until quite a bit later when I’m presented with whatever it is. Its like those recordings that you can play while you sleep to engrains messages into you. They can be SO tricky. And manipulative.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Have you read Brave New World? Because that’s what I thought of when I read your comment on the recordings played while sleeping. That’s such an interesting and true way to put the fact how we’re influenced without even noticing it. You always have some great insight, girl.

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