Why Corporations Are Better Than Politicians

On the relationship between consumption, power and politics.


My new job involves reading lots and lots of advertising case studies. Today, it was potato chips. Two recent award-winnning marketing schemes – one in the UK and one in India – were based on getting people to suggest new flavours then running massive campaigns to get the public to vote for its favourite. In both India and the UK more than one million people offered ideas for new flavours and millions more voted. Video from the India campaign looked like an Obama outtake with added snacks.

What the hell? Why do people can’t be arsed to vote in real elections go into frenzies over fried food flavours? It would be easy to say, “Because they’re stupid,” and probably some of them are. But even dummies have a survival instinct and I refuse to believe that a sentient being in modern world seriously believes crisps wield a greater influence over…

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