Fear is a primordial emotion and is drives survival, which is what living is all about at the instinctual level. So, when that emotion is bundled with other messages in advertisements there’s a strong propensity to purchase that life improving or prolonging product or service.
Detoxing is one of those favoured, self-gratifying, fear promoted products out there in the health and fitness market. I’ve had friends who boasted of their trips to clinics in the US for ‘cleansing’ and who glowingly recounted how beneficial it was. I can understand the glow of having successfully acted, in time and money terms, to save yourself from some ‘imminent’ danger, but how much of that is due to fear marketing sirens designed to drive us into the arms of alternative medicine practitioners – sometimes another label for quacks?
Some of the most notable quackery here in Nigeria are: Gbogbo ni se (cure all) coconut oil, moringa; drink your own piss; the dip your leg in a magical solution and watch your body being drained of bloody impurities scam; the magic prescription machine, where you hold a ‘sensor’ in your hands and all ailments will be magically revealed on a computer screen (my driver was labelled a cancer prone smoker when he’d never tasted any kind of tobacco in his life) so that you can be sold bewildering array of Vitamin Supplements and concoctions; unlabelled health drinks (unlabelled because they don’t want to reveal precious secrets!), liver and kidney mixtures, reduce belly fat mixtures etc. You may be able to remember many more than I can remember.
It’s the conviction of their users than amazes me the most: Why would you disturb your body’s finely tuned systems and processes with some quacks prescriptions? No machine as effective in detoxing as the Liver has ever being made. If you eat the regular Nigerian fares, you’re most likely already well provisioned with all the vitamins you’ll ever need. Well, of course, if there’s famine or war you could become deprived but not because your body is malfunctioning but because you’re simply not having enough in quantity and variety to eat.
These are bad examples of Fear Marketing but there also good or, at least, innocuous ones; stuff for future blogs.
Stay Healthy. Eat well. Exercise enough. Don’t be scared. Comment and like this post. Live happily ever after.
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