Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fear as a motivator - an excellent example

I was recently browsing a local online classifieds site (http://classified.sarnia.com/) and saw an ad:

Wanted: Health Wellness Work From HOME (Note: Since I started writing this entry the ad has been removed)
Are you sick and tired of all the hazardous and toxic chemicals found in your household products?

Well here's a solution!!!

It's a group called Motivated Moms. It's a team built up of mothers from all across North America who support each other by making a safer and healthier environment and lifestyle for you and your family, while still making extra cash!

If you are sick of all these brand name products being recalled, and want to convert to environmentally friendly products, or just want to make some extra cash then this is for you! You don't have to be a mom, ANYONE can join this group.

If you are interested or need more info email me!
Too often the method for attracting/motivating people is the use of fear in the advertisement.  Some examples are a little more subtle (ie. When cholesterol was being talked about as being "bad", McCain's started advertising that their french fries were cholesterol free.  The reality is that potatoes have always been cholesterol free.) but this "ad" goes straight to it.

The first sentence is simply poisoning the well - the idea that the "chemicals" found in household products are "hazardous" and "toxic" hasn't been established in the claims.  One is to assume that it is true (and true of all household products - except the ones that she is trying to sell) and the logical position to take would be for you to be "sick and tired of" them. 

Now that they've identified a horrifying problem they, as marketing wizards, introduce the solution.  They suggest that their products are safer and healthier for the environment and, here's a great bonus, you can make extra cash!

The next paragraph builds on the promotion of "fear" - "all these brand name products being recalled" and "convert to environmentally friendly" are designed to provide a false impression.  Not very many (relatively, at least) "brand name" products are being recalled and not all "brand name" products are the opposite of "environmentally friendly". 

Her claims are unsubstantiated, they utilize fear as a motivator and are used to ultimately push a multi-level marketing scheme (I talked about these a few entries ago) - warning signs galore. 

Using the word "toxic" is almost a guaranteed sign of "fear mongering" - the toxin is in the dose.  Few would say that vitamins and minerals are "toxic" but, at the right dose, they are.  Water is toxic if too much is consumed.  "Chemicals" is a scary word for many people - possibly because of our lack of science education - but it shouldn't be.  What is made of chemicals? Everything.  The products that she is selling are most definitely made of chemicals too.

Think about it - doing so could be what saves your health, your life and your pocketbook.  Skeptical thinking could help reduce the number of people who are taken in by such outlandish claims and destined-to-fail marketing schemes.

(Additional info.  I went to http://www.motivatedmoms.net/ (I assume that is the website for the "company").  I read the "work from home" and "get more info" pages.  They claim not to be a multi-level marketing company and that you don't need to make any sales.  Yet, when you visit their success stories it is clear that products are being sold and you are recruiting other people.  What makes it even more silly is that at the bottom of the site it states who engineered/maintains the site (an MLM marketing software company) and that "this is not an mlm site" but links to, you guessed it, an MLM software site.  If it quacks like a duck and is greasy like a duck... something like that.)

(A blog follower pointed out the irony of a "program" that says you don't have to make sales (and recruit) actually posting an ad to sell products (and recruit members).)

Update (December 28, 2010 - 4:23PM) :  I sent an email to the person who posted the original ad asking for more information ("than is supplied here..." with a link to this blog).  She responded without, apparently, reading my blog:

i am with a company called Motivated moms and we are teamed up with a wellness company called melaleuca. Melaleuca has over 400 products that are safer then the grocery store brands with no harmful chemicals! If you would like i can book you in for a presentation it takes about 45 mins. and then you can learn all about what it is we do and how it works and how you can be on your way to making 500-1000 extra a month! Just let me know a day and time that would work that you can be infront of your computer for the presentation. Thanks!

You can do your own searching on Melaleuca :) 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

motivated moms is a mlm scam

my sister worked her ass off and lost hundreds of dollars buying useless,crappy,and expensive goods

i feel sorry that this person got snookered in but hope she gets out before she wastes more $$$$