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Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy [Kindle Edition]

Martin Lindstrom , Morgan Spurlock
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"A marketing veteran who lists McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft among his former clients, Martin Lindstrom knows the industry well." (The Economist)

"When the author of Freakonomics talks in such glowing terms about a book it's worth taking a peek. And Martin Lindstrom's Brandwashed certainly deserves it. It's an insiders guide to the sophisticated and cunning ways we are all manipulated on a daily basis by the global brands that want to part us from our pay packets. Lindstrom is a well-qualified guide to this maze of hidden persuasion." (British Airways Business Life Magazine)

"Lindstrom knows every trick going. This fascinating book follows how advertisers literally target everyone often using highly manipulative tactics to convince us to buy their products. An eye-opening read." (Star Magazine)

"After reading this book you will never feel the same after watching an ad again." (Healthy Magazine)


In Brandwashed, Martin Lindstrom gives readers a shocking - and unprecedented - behind-the-scenes look at the tricks, strategies and manipulations that businesses, advertisers and retailers across the world use to engineer human desire and compel consumers to open their wallets.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1943 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 306 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0385531737
  • Verlag: Crown Business (20. September 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004J4X2VM
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #225.019 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book all in all 3. November 2012
Von Oliver S.
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I've had my share of books of this kind, but this is an extra-ordinarily good and addictive read. I'm going to get the "buy-ology" book from the same author next chance. Many of the finer points that marketers look at in their research and their marketing campaigns are revealed in this book. It's hard to put the book away and take a break as it's rather addictive.

If you've read Edward Bernays' "Propaganda", imagine this as a vastly updated and extended version focused solely on the commercial use of Propaganda/PR/Marketing. It's flabbergasting how manipulative marketers have got in those decades since Bernays wrote his book and I'm sure Lindstrom would have gotten a favorable review from Bernays were he still alive.

I bought this book at the recommendation of one of my former colleagues from Scandinavia and can't say I regret it.

Only the slightest criticism of the content:

1. it'd be interesting to look at the people from the former Eastern block, in particular those in their early thirties now (my generation). Why? Well, as kids they weren't exactly exposed to what the author sees as anchor points for marketers in childhood. The superficial mentioning of the super rich in those countries doesn't compensate for it, because it's not legible to compare the super rich there with the middle and lower income classes here ;)
2. Mars _may_ actually use a different recipe in France vs. US. Trying to prove my case: get a bag of Haribo gummy bears in one of the Scandinavian countries (the author is Scandinavian) and get one from the country of origin (Germany). You _will_ notice the difference. Definitely no excuse for the manufacturer there. The texture differs, the taste differs, the look differs. McDonalds also uses "local" produce for their stuff to some extent, so it's not particularly far-fetched that Mars recipes differ between France and the US which are further apart than, say, Denmark and Germany ;)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Information endlich zugängig gemacht 13. Dezember 2011
Martin Lindstrom deckt auf, was er hinter den verschlossenen Türen der Werbeindustrie erlebt hat. Sein Buch ist ein schockierender Insiderbericht, der zeigt, wie wir von Werbung beeinflusst werden - und zwar schon im Mutterleib. Lindstrom offenbart die neuesten Tricks und Verführungstechniken der Werbung und enthüllt, warum sie noch heimtückischer sind als je zuvor.Erfolgreiches Marketing ist wie eine Gehirnwäsche.Zum beispiel ist man bei der Versicherungs- und die Pharmabranche sehr gut im Verbreiten von Angstbotschaften.
...Alles im allem unterhaltsammes Lesestoff.
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3 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Langweilig, arrogant und altklug 25. März 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
man liest und liest, schoenes leichtes englisch btw, aber es kommt irgendwie nichts dabei raus. der autor versucht die ersten seiten sein glueck darin zu finden keine "marken" mehr zu kaufen. aehh ist nicht irgendwie alles indirekt eine "marke"? mein deutsches spiessertum schreit hier innerlich nach einer definition. was ist den eine "marke"? aus meiner sicht ist alles irgendwie eine marke ... und wenn ich nur " no name" discounter produkte kaufe, die "no names" von trader joes und co sind doch auch schon wieder .. eine marke.

und alles was dann spaeter kommt, der versuch eine "grosse verschwoerung" heraufzubeschwoeren, ist laecherlich.

wenn jemand sein englisch verbessern will, ein simples buch am pool lesen will, jo..greif zu, der rest ...finger weg!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  130 Rezensionen
49 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen A Book that Uses the Same Tricks It Purports to Reveal 21. Januar 2012
Von H. Laack - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As with many other reviewers, I was alerted to this book after hearing an NPR interview with the author and found his message well worth following up. After reading Brandwashed, however, it seems that Martin Lindstrom is a persuasive speaker but his focus is totally on marketing--himself and his books.

Instead of recognizing that marketing is a legitimate part of business, Lindstrom too often goes for sensational, breathless prose--ending up sounding like a National Enquirer headline writer instead of someone conveying really new and important information. Our culture *is* too often driven by excessive consumerism, but he sometimes seems to want to "pick on" specific brands he doesn't like rather than sort out acceptable advertising from tricks and gimmicks.

The book reads too often like a marketing piece. Too often he says we'll learn "later" about some great secret he has for us, but this just sounds like one of those junk mail packages selling a book that has all the secrets to health if we just send in 29.95 plus shipping and handling. Then there was his self-promotion, cloying in the way that he seemed to be the only one to see the simple solutions that would save their products. Did you know that it was Lindstrom who, all by himself, helped a soft drink company find exactly the right a*snap* for the sound of opening a soft drink can so that "to this day whenever the sound is played at sponsored events, the manufacturer witnesses an instantaneous uptick in sales." Really? Really? Can we see some clear and verified data?

And speaking of data: the notes section was another disappointment--sources were internet addresses for magazine and newspaper articles, not scientific journals. Worse, much of the "research" he talked about was not sourced at all, and the small size of the groups he referenced in his own work showed it to be more anecdotal evidence than anything that could be characterized as scientific findings. An egregious example of one of these "research" studies was said to reveal that the "average" age of apples in our produce departments is fourteen months. Such an outlandish claim (easily refuted with minimal internet digging) was not footnoted or provided with the basis for the comment.

Another problem with his own research was using fMRI as an almost universal basis of authority. Lindstrom never notes that there remains a great deal of controversy about how much confidence can yet be placed in this tool; instead his comments seem designed to make any study using fMRI somehow even *more* scientific.

In an extended discussion about hand sanitizers and related products, he cites a Lysol comment that says "following proper hygiene routines can help prevent the spread of illness." However, says Lindstrom, this would seem to indicate " their product is the key to good hygiene--and in turn instrumental in staying healthy. Only they can't say that because, well, it would be a lie; in fact, hand sanitizers have not been found, by the CDC or anyone else, to be effective in fighting airborne disease." (page 30)

Here's the problem; airborne disease is not what hand sanitizers are purporting to address and the CDC *does* cite the effectiveness of hand washing in fighting much illness. ("Did you know that the very simple activity of frequent handwashing has the potential to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention?" from the CDC's own site, <...> )

Sadly, it appears that Lindstrom the marketer has done his own "distorting" of the facts, just as his subtitle accuses other marketers. Finding these overt misrepresentations brings under suspicion much of the rest of his material.

I do not disagree with the premise that companies are using tricks and manipulation to push us into inappropriate buying decisions, and there is a need for people to be aware of what they are subjected to on a daily basis. However, this is not the book to get clear information on the problems in marketing today.

Even Lindstrom's last chapter, the one that really says the most about our buying decision processes--is unsurprising in our keeping-up-with-the-Joneses culture. An attractive, upper middle class, popular and successful, suburban family is enlisted to talk up brands. If there is a neighborhood barbecue, Dad talks about his great new grill. The kids praise their athletic shoes and Mom runs on and on about clothing, accessories and all kinds of items for the home. Result? Their neighbors often buy what has been "advertised"to them by their friends. Wow, we didn't know that people are influenced by their peers?

I don't want to be judgmental about the family (although I really wondered about a neighborhood where women might actually sit around and spend so very much time just on "stuff"), but it seems as though much of the "manipulation" we endure is really self-inflicted. Sadly, Brandwashed never discusses how we might best address our own proclivities that allow us to be manipulated, another gap that drops this book to only one star.
50 von 55 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Caveat emptor: entertaining overall with some real value, but all may not be as it seems 24. August 2011
Von A. Reid - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
First, I'm very interested in marketing and have long been conscious of the manipulative tricks played by advertisers in their efforts to take our money. I'm no specialist by any means, but this isn't my first book about the phenomenon. I came to it expecting perhaps one or two revelations (and I did get that), but primarily interested in how this particular marketer was going to approach the question. While I think he came at it honestly, there were times that I found the information he presented dubious in conclusion, perhaps at times because he didn't question the sources himself.

I see that an earlier reviewer (C. MacPhail) has already made reference to this and has a few examples with which I agree. There were several others that struck me was I was reading, but none more starkly than in Chapter 5 (p. 122 of the advance version I have) where he discusses a study in which women were given what looked to be designer sunglasses and asked to take a math test, self-graded on the honor system, in which they received cash awards. The women who were told that the designer sunglasses were fake were more likely to cheat on grading their tests and take more money. The author of the study he reports on concluded from this that "wearing counterfeit glasses...undermines our internal sense of authenticity. 'Faking it' makes us feel like phonies and cheaters on the inside."

Or, perhaps, people who think they have been given something truly valuable feel an obligation to the giver that makes it more difficult to cheat them out of money. Or maybe their internal "greed" quotient is satisfied and they don't need cash on top of swag. That being given a single counterfeit item makes cheaters of people is only one possible conclusion here, and either the researchers or Lindstrom aren't considering/presenting other possibilities.

Many parts of the book were interesting, certainly, and the book is overall pretty well written. It was this example and others like it throughout the book that made me wonder if I was getting the whole story...or if the message was being polished and glossed, like some of the products described, to make it seem more cohesive and informed than it really is.

If not for this element, I would probably have given the book four stars. Overall, I did enjoy it, even though I found some of the author's own work morally dubious. (Hiring people to shill products to their friends doesn't really speak highly of the payor or the payee. I guess the marketing world hasn't created much by way of an ethics code governing human subject research.) But that element is a pretty major detractor. While there was much in the book that I felt probably could safely be taken on face value, the ones that I thought could not left me uncertain overall.
52 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Filled with a-ha moments that taught me I'm not as immune to marketing as I thought 30. Juli 2011
Von Suzanne Amara - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I like to think I'm not easily influenced by marketing. I shop used a lot, I don't have a lot of brand loyalty---like many people, I like to think I'd see through brand marketing and corporate tricks. But this book showed me I certainly don't always do so.

I love Whole Foods, but after this read, I'm not going to look at them in quite the same way! I found out how they use little tricks like putting veggies in rustic looking boxes to seem as if they are straight from the farm, putting prices on "chalkboards" which actually are preprinted, putting food on ice when it doesn't need to be, to make it look more appealing----even little things like putting their main door to the right, because people that walk counterclockwise through a store spend more---weird! Even the fact that I always like the music they have playing is a result of marketing---they know what their customers like, and play that.

The extent to which we have no privacy on the internet was brought alive to me by this book also. It explained something weird that happened to me just this week. My brother-in-law, who lives upstairs from me, got a catalog in the mail from a handbag company. He wouldn't know a handbag if it hit him in the face, but the particular brand was one I like, although can't afford. I have, however, browsed their web site and bought some used bags on ebay. Now that I know that such internet activity can be tracked by I.P. address, it all made sense---our internet for the house is in his name, and they decided he'd be a prime buyer. Wow. Scary.

The author has worked with many companies to hook in buyers. I'm not quite sure why he is giving away their secrets now, but I like it that is he! Take the time to also read the acknowledgments at the end of this book. I felt they gave away a few more secrets---that the book was ghostwritten, that the idea for the book didn't come from the author himself, and that he sneaked in a lot of brand names in the book and acknowledgments, and he had educated me enough in the course of the book to wonder if he was paid for this!
27 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen More about building Lindstrom's brand than building on Buyology 30. September 2011
Von Mark P. McDonald - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If you did not know that marketing plays on your fears, uses sex to sell, and is basically trying to manipulate you into buying things, then this book explains how all of that works. If you already knew that, then reading this book is all about the author and his participation in that process.

Martin Lindstrom's Brandwashed reveals the ways in which marketers' influence of values and buying decisions. Brandwashed concentrates on describing the various marketing tactics and situations that taken together provide a compendium of consumer based marketing tools and techniques with a superficial discussion of social media.

This book is not a follow-on to Buy ology. It is a restatement of mainstream marketing tools and techniques. Lindstrom's goal is to expose manipulate marketing messages based on our fears, dreams, self-image etc. Lindstrom is a leading market strategist and therefore a leading practitioner of this manipulation and uses this book as a statement of his experience, importance and how clever he is.


Recommended reading for people who want to understand the current state of the practice and companies that are practicing these techniques. Marketing professionals who are already aware of these techniques may pick up some interesting stories but the book reflects industry practice more than industry innovation.

Readers looking for insight into social media marketing will be disappointed as there are brief mentions of social media marketing techniques, but not enough to say that it is a book about social media and marketing, so they will need to look elsewhere for that topic.

Readers looking for a follow-up to Lindstrom's book Buy ology will find that the book is not mentioned until page 185. The book builds on, but it is definitely not a follow-up to Buy ology.


Brandwashed is divided into three parts. The first two chapters outline the overall approach to modern marketing and how it shapes buyer values and motivations that start from before birth. These two chapters are helpful and in fact provide much of the information you will learn from Brandwashed.

The next part of the book concentrates on how marketers use fear, addiction, sex, peer pressure, nostalgia, celebrity and health. Each of these chapters concentrates on the rational behind marketing messages along these dimensions, examples of how they work and Lindstrom's thoughts on why they work. The chapters quickly run together since they follow a similar structure and cover techniques we already know.

The final part of the book is two chapters: one on data based marketing and Lindstrom's experiment in direct peer marketing (The Morgenson). The last chapter of the book is the most interesting in concept and idea. It represents an interesting idea and insight that unfortunately is underdeveloped, as it appears to be an appendix to the book. It should have been the first chapter and illustrative basis for the book. As its written, it appears hurried, at a summary level and comes at a time when the reader is looking to finish the book more than restart their thinking about what they have just read.


The book provides an informative and insightful discussion of common marketing tools and techniques. Lindstrom covers the breadth of different ways that marketers seek to influence our buying habits.

Each technique is supported with Lindstrom naming names where he can, mostly referring to publically available information. Often he hints at insider knowledge that he alludes to, but does not divulge that information which is unfortunate.

The discussion is marketing centric, which is a strength, but much of what Lindstrom discusses is also a function of distribution and merchandizing. It would have been great to get more information about these aspects of marketing as that is what gets the product into the field and into our hands.

The book concentrates on marketing messages, tools and techniques aimed at middle class, middle aged, and boomers in the United States. This is good as this is a prime audience, but it is not the only audience.


Lindstrom seeks to build his own brand by bringing you into this secret club. In Brandwashed he is trying to get on your side by taking a conspiratorial tone in his discussion of marketing tools, tricks and techniques. This is ok, once you know it is going on, but if you start thinking `this guy is really smart and it is great that he is letting us see the inside of creepy corporate marketing' then think again.

Lindstrom mentions through out the book that he is an expert who has been hired by leading companies using these techniques. This should be a strength unfortunately Lindstrom frequently teases by saying "sorry I cannot say who" which is a cop out.

Lindstrom is largely silent on the issue of social media and the creation of community based marketing. This is surprising given Lindstrom's frequent reminder that his a leader in this area. If you are reading this book to understand social marketing, you should look elsewhere.

Lindstrom clearly has a strong dislike for two companies Whole Foods and foursquare, the location based social media company. Throughout the book he goes on to point out the contradictions of both of these companies is accurate, but the tone seems out of balance.

Overall, if you have not read about marketing techniques in a long time, then Brandwashed is helpful. However, if you are looking for a book about social media marketing, this is not it.

I would hope that readers of this review will judge it on explaining the two star rating rather than just reacting to the fact that I did not find the book a good follow-on to Buy-ology.
27 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Games They Play 12. August 2011
Von Spudman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I expected to be shaking my head at all of the shenanigans companies use to trick us. Instead I was shaking my head while thinking, "Is that all there is?" Maybe it's because I used to teach a short propaganda unit in public school and already know about the trickery, deceipt, and dishonesty used by marketers.

A new wrinkle today is the digital information gathering done via our internet use and those ubiquitous store discount cards. Everytime we make an electronic purchase our information is gathered to become part of our shopping history that`s shared liberally. Recently I typed "potato chips" in a Facebook message and within a few minutes I noticed potato chip ads on the side of my profile page. Creepy stuff.

For the most part Brandwashed is an interesting book, though I learned nothing startling, no insider revelations for me. The reader "learns" about marketing tactics that may or may not be considered trickery, like celebrity endorsements. Chapters detailing example after example of sellers using fear tactics, glowing generalities (empty words with positive connotations), sex appeal, or doctor endorsements contain nothing new. These gimmicks have been used for years.

The author uses a little bit of subliminal suggestion and marketing skills himself with frequent references to his previous book "Buyology, and even suggests that the reader should pick up an e-book copy of that book.

In the last chapter we learn about an elaborate experiment in which a family is "planted" in an upscale neighborhood to see if their friends and neighbors can be influenced by the brand recommendations of this attractive planted family. If you've ever bought something because of a friend's recommendation, then you understand the silliness of this expensive experiment and the obvious conclusions.

I was a little disappointed not to find more about subliminal suggestion, number games, or packaging tricks in "Brandwashed." I like the trick of calling a product new, with the only thing "new" being a smaller package with less product.

Though torn between giving three or four stars, I'm rating this book four stars and forgiving the handful of gaffes in this uncorrected proof.
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