For-profit industries exist to make money. They rely on various advertising ploys to increase their bottom line. Some companies use slick and sometimes shady marketing practices to dupe consumers into buying their products. An online community was recently asked to name the brands that fool people the most, and they didn’t hold back their thoughts.
1. Beats Audio
The headphones made famous by legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre have been a status symbol since they first entered the market. However, several commenters in the online forum took exception to what they believe is a low-quality product with a high price tag. Others feel that Beats’ popularity can exclusively be attributed to celebrity endorsements instead of being worth the money.
2. De Beers
The De Beers name has become synonymous with diamonds thanks to their market domination and slick advertising campaigns. Diamonds, like cars and other big-ticket items, don’t hold their value over time and start losing it as soon as you buy them. But, as someone in the discussion observes, De Beers has created a mystique around diamonds with slogans like “A diamond is forever.”
Since its inception in the early 20th century, the Rolex brand has been known for producing high-quality watches. Owning a Rolex has become a symbol of extreme wealth, privilege, and exclusivity. In the 1950s, a Rolex watch could be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Today, the timepieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
The ability to afford home fitness equipment has always been something of a status symbol. But in recent years, Peloton has upped the ante with their digital, interactive treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines that cost upwards of a few thousand dollars. Perfectly serviceable home exercise machines are available for a fraction of the cost. And if users want to replicate the interactive video experience, there’s always YouTube.
The Nestlé name may be familiar to many for its chocolate candy and baking products. Still, the conglomerate has thousands of brands under its corporate umbrella. The company has come under fire for its unethical marketing to promote the use of its baby formulas, the use of child labor in cocoa plant harvesting, and food safety concerns, all of which undercuts the wholesome image the company tries to project.
The hype around Apple products is a source of irritation for numerous participants in the thread. They don’t like the high prices of Apple products and the elitism that comes with owning iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Air Pods. They also object to what one user calls “planned obsolescence and constant upgrades, which leads to a ton of electronic waste.”
The once inexpensive clothing brand that catered to skateboard enthusiasts has become a more exclusive, expensive, and harder-to-find fashion line. The Supreme brand became popular streetwear when rappers like Gucci Mane, Nas, Juelz Santana, and Jim Jones began wearing it. Someone in the thread claims the label intentionally manufactures a limited amount of clothing to drive demand and price.
The British candymaker is most famous in America for their popular Easter candy, Cadbury Creme Eggs. Candy lovers say that over the years, the company has not only made their eggs smaller, but they changed the filling from the smooth liquid cream to a hard mass of semi-soft sugar that tastes nowhere as good as the original eggs, someone complains.
Owned by Coca-Cola, Vitaminwater was marketed as a healthy, nutritious alternative to plain drinking water, thanks to the different available flavors. The company was successfully sued when it was discovered the beverage had very high levels of sugar. As a result, Coca-Cola was forced to stop promoting Vitaminwater as a health drink.
10. Intuit TurboTax
American tax filers whose incomes are below certain levels can file their annual income taxes online for free, a service offered by several tax filing companies. Intuit/TurboTax was sued for deliberately blocking its free tax filing products from appearing in online searches, forcing users to pay the company to do their taxes instead of having them done for free.
The famous, high-end line of yoga wear has had more than its share of controversies. The company falsely claimed their clothes were infused with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties because they were made from seaweed. When customers complained about the poor construction of their products, the company’s founder blamed it on plus-size women trying to wear Lululemon.
12. Ford Motors and General Motors
There used to be a time when the only drivers who owned pickup trucks were those who used them as part of their jobs, such as farmers and construction workers. But automobile manufacturers like Ford and GM have convinced “the majority of Americans that their lifestyles require a giant truck,” a reader states. Their marketing campaigns are highly effective, considering many pickup trucks cost thousands of dollars.
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