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10 Ways Freud's Nephew Cheated on Us (and Still Does)

Edward Bernays, whose uncle was Sigmund Freud, is credited with being the father of public relations (AKA propaganda). His methods have often been to postpone massive cultural trends to make his products or ideas more attractive. Here are 10 ways he did exactly that.

Sigmund Freud, the original man with the couch, was not the only member of this bloodline who had a lasting impact on people's way of thinking. Of course, his daughter Anna had the claim to become famous as a candidate for the least successful therapist. However, Freud's success, influence and stamina are more akin to his nephew Edward Louis Bernays.

Edward Bernays was a Cornell graduate in agriculture and discovered a talent for influencing mass opinion (a process he later described with the term he invented and used as the title of one of his essays: "Approval of Engineering") , He has been described by the New York Times as the "Father of Public Relations," and many of the practices and perspectives that the marketing industry has received to date are his creations. [1


Bernays hated the advertising methods of his time, which were often uncomplicated and aimed to address the consumer's reasoning abilities. He guessed, based on his uncle's work, that consumers were never rational, but driven by powerful subconscious forces. These forces could be manipulated, and the result could be anything from increased cigarette sales to majority ownership of a war. The O.G. The PR man did not just want to sell you a product or an idea, he also wanted to change the structure of the society around you, so the product (or idea) just became the obvious choice from your new perspective. Here are 10 surprising ways in which he has constructed and transformed our assumptions, our beliefs, and our real reality.

SEE ALSO: 10 secrets that companies do not want you to know.

10 First World War [19659007] It is sometimes difficult to look back in history and to be confident that we are looking through the right lens. For example, we could imagine that every American war was recorded with a state of mind similar to that shown by the US over the past twenty years. But normal American politics (both among ordinary people and among politicians) has long claimed that we are not concerned with what the rest of the world is up to. This changed around the time we entered World War I, although public opinion largely resisted despite the entry. It was actually Edward Bernays' first big project, working in a military team, to convince average Joe that the war was good and right. Bernays helped to set a framework for painting by numbers that is so compelling that governments have mastered it ever since – with a keen sense. [2]

This, in essence, was what distinguished the young PR man for the rest of his career by simply putting military propaganda on the market.

9 Ham and eggs as an all-American breakfast

How often do you think about why you eat what you do? There is a long-standing notion that the All-American Breakfast consists of ham and eggs. In fact, I'd bet you could do a tour of the US and find that most Americans serve a breakfast called "The American," which is just that: bacon and eggs. This was not always the case. [3]

Before 1920, the American breakfast was fairly light and modest, mainly cereal, a bit of fruit, maybe a cup of coffee. Our extravagant food was conjured up when Edward Bernays won the Beech Nut Packing Company as a customer who wanted him to boost his pork sales. Bernays went to work collecting testimonies from nearly 5,000 doctors in the US who simply said that a heftier breakfast was healthier, while some of them specifically named bacon and eggs as an example. The trick worked. Bernays knew what the Americans had at hand to prepare such a substantial breakfast, and encouraged them with the statements that were not exactly for the food, but certainly not against it. We've assumed that things have been as American as ham and eggs ever since.

8 The color green

This is a fascinating one. Lucky Strike cigarettes proudly wore a bright green pack as they engaged Bernays to boost sales. In polls, he noted that especially women spoke out against the brand because it collided with almost any outfit. [4]

Bernays, who rarely took the direct route, did not require the company to change the packaging, but instead planted supporting articles in fashion magazines and organized "green balls" to which everyone was obviously invited In an environment that is decorated with the same, he created a massive fashion trend for the color green. It worked. People were wearing more green and Lucky Strike, which came well before the game, became a popular brand accessory.

7 Female smokers

The fact that women were targeted as consumers in the first place was due to the influence of Bernay. Until he was contracted by Virginia Slims, smoking was illegal for women or even banned in some states. But Bernays saw a chance in the growing support for the suffragette movement. When a women's march was scheduled in New York, he encouraged a group of his attendees to shine at the same moment his employed newspaper photographers were in position with cameras ready. [5]

The result was what he described in the newspapers as "torches of freedom". And much hesitation about potential buyers and bureaucracy that had built up their state governments – forgive me – consequently went up in smoke.

Bernays doubled the remarkable success of the Torches of Freedom by promoting campaigns that pointed out that smokers were thinner and prettier than non-smokers, a concept that still employs young women today.

6 Hairnets in the Workforce

This may not seem so exciting until you think about the sheer magnitude of the influence it represents. Before Bernays was picked out to spin hairnets, they did not appear in public anywhere. After Bernays, they were a requirement in many industries and environments. These are easily billions of factory workers, midday women and so on over the last century (and it goes on and on) whose daily lives involved a compulsory familiarity with hairnets. This may be an example of those who make fun of stray hair in their food, if we can sincerely and unironically thank Bernay's interventions. [6]

The Water

If there is still a debate about the merits of fluoridation of water, it may die now. Edward Bernays was hired by Alcoa to introduce industrial-grade fluoride, a common by-product (and regulated pollutant) that is being used as a public health benefit in the manufacture of its large seller of aluminum. Bernays himself is quoted as saying that he accepted the job because he was intrigued to see if he could persuade an entire nation to vote against what she instinctively knew to have her own good health interests. With methods like invoking all the dictionaries and encyclopaedias he could find, and adding a then-non-existent entry to "fluoridation," which gives the whole concept a sense of authority, he managed, as usual, to make headway. [7]

4 Instant Cake Mix

The use of instant cake mix was once a sign of lazy housekeeping. No parent or self-respecting baker made cakes out of the box. In fact, everything was a shameful prospect right now. But Bernays would not be long. He questioned and researched and watched. Eventually, the man realized that potential consumers felt guilty about making cakes out of a box, as if they were not giving enough to their families. So manufacturers had to add a simple step to the process: an egg. Everything that had to do with the instant cake was present, with the exception of the egg, which you had to buy separately and beat under the mixture. This simple encore apparently fulfilled the desire for sacrifice and motherly giving, and the instant cake survived on the Darwinist stage of the free market. We can ask ourselves all day to what extent this has influenced the current culture of our time. [8]

3 Technical approval

As mentioned in the introduction, Bernays literally wrote the book about an idea that he described as the "consent of the engineers". He argued that democracy should not be left in the hands of unwashed masses, that the rich and powerful in the world must protect class members from themselves. The method of ensuring this protection was to manipulate their voices with the same campaigns that Bernays had perfected, while promoting the beauty of free elections.

It is doubtful that he first presented this idea, but since his social group included such as John D. Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt, and he was the first to model a reliable method of putting the theory into practice, he can easily do so Status of a major influence on a viewpoint that would trigger massive waves in the social and state trends of the 20th century and beyond. [9]

2 Sexual Enlightenment

Bernays was a strange guy. He was either disloyal or critically bipolar and supported with apparently equal enthusiasm a number of conflicting reasons, jumping from liberalism to conservatism with a flexible sense of truth or just money as motivation.

While his ideas about the role of the upper class in manipulating the rest of society seem anything but progressive, he also made a great effort to get the masses sexually enlightened. He fought against the then censorship and police, built a false committee to show support, and gathered some of the richest and most famous people in the world to make a play that focused on educating their audience about sexually transmitted diseases. If Bernays were still alive today, such an M / O could promote something like denying climate change and financing planned parenting. [10]

Initial publicity campaigns for a US president were launched by Bernays. Calvin Coolidge, a candidate in the 1924 election, appeared to be nervous by many, so his public relations consultant staged celebrity visits and a vaudeville performance on the White House lawn. If we look at the media circus that accompanies today's US election, and wonder how they look like reality TV shows or even adult cartoons, this may have been the moment that made everything happen.

As you can see, Edward Bernays used a skillful ability to manipulate large groups of people to change the way we all see the world, often in a sustainable way. If we are afraid of a man who has the obvious power to change our mind, we can at least be grateful that he was not alive in the age of the Internet when almost everyone on Earth carries a device that Simple delivery allows the stimulus in the stimulus-response model of behavior conditioning. In other words, with a phone in each bag, Bernays could really have gone to town. [11]

I usually write about technology and media psychology, the way new and entertaining inventions change the way we see / act in the world [19659036]
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