Be Happier by Blocking Ads

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A debate has been going on for years about the effectiveness about advertising and how the exposure to ads makes us feel. We now have an answer. Advertising is effective and makes us wants things we otherwise wouldn’t and that makes us unhappy. This is good because it provides us with a simple solution: get rid of ads as much as possible.

To help reduce ads in your life you can use a tracker blocker while you’re on the internet, ProPublica has a good list of options.

So ads make us want what we don’t or can’t have?

The idea here is a very old one: Before I can decide how happy I am, I have to look over my shoulder, consciously or subconsciously, and see how other people are doing. Many of my feelings about my income, my car, and my house are molded by my next-door neighbor’s income, car, and house. That’s just part of being human: worrying about relative status. But we know from lots of research that making social comparisons can be harmful to us emotionally, and advertising prompts us to measure ourselves against others. If I see an ad for a fancy new car, it makes me think about my ordinary one, which might make me feel bad. If I see this $10,000 watch and then look at my watch, which I probably paid about $150 for, I might think, “Maybe there’s something wrong with me.” And of course nations are just agglomerations of individuals. Now, in this paper we don’t prove that the dissatisfaction is coming from relative comparisons, but we suspect that’s what happening.

Read more.

A Physician Wants to Spread Knowledge About Misleading Food Labels

A doctor has decided that he has had enough about misleading labels on food and wants to spread the word about how harmful bad labelling can be. Check out this video for exactly why this is a problem and what you can do about it.

I’d been asked by the food industry to give this talk at an industry breakfast, but 3 days prior to the event they got cold feet and dis-invited me. The good news is, the internet’s a much larger audience than a room full of food industry folks who likely wouldn’t have cared much about what I had to say in the first place. So here’s my take on what the food industry can do, why they’re not going to do it, and what we can do about it.

Site Info: How PR Companies Should Contact Us

This post is really only for people sending in messages about new products, companies, press releases, etc.

For those of you in the PR field or for people who want to send in news about their local event, I’m changing things up. The volume of press releases and the like sent to me has gotten overwhelming (this has been the case for sometime now, I’m just doing something about it now).

The only way I will read your PR (or whatever) is if you send it to the NEW contact at ThingsAreGood.com email address. Anything sent to a different @thingsaregood.com email address will be ignored.

In fact, I’ll likely not respond to most press releases as I just get too many.

Now back to your regularly scheduled good news.

A Really Good Ad Campaign

People For Good wants to remind you to do good things everyday. Throughout Canada mysterious ads have appeared promoting People For Good and it turns out it’s a few marketers who wanted to take a break from selling things and wanted to sell good ideas.

People For Good’s website is filled with small very easy to do actions that apply to almost everyone. Check it out and do some good!

“The genesis of this was about wanting to do something positive and socially responsible and taking stock of what we do for a living. And what we do for a living is changing attitudes and behaviours.”

The campaign, in which the messages started to appear on billboards in late June, is under way in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and is slated to run until Aug. 21.

“The reaction we’ve had has been outstanding,” says Sherman, who won’t reveal how many millions of ad space was donated.

“I hope that aside from encouraging every Canadian to do a good deed or something nice, I hope we can also inspire other people in other industries, in other companies, to take stock of what their collective can do and try and use some of the energy… to do something socially responsible,” said Sherman.

Read the rest of the article here.
Go to the People For Good website.

“Upcycling” Gets Corporate Interest

Upcycling takes items that would otherwise be wasted and makes them into useful products. James, who works for Terracycle, wrote to let me know that they have teamed up with Kraft to make some upcycled bags. I wonder how people will react to branded recycling.

Kraft will become the first major multi-category corporation to fund the collection of used packaging associated with its products. Several Kraft brands, including Balance bars and South Beach Living bars, Capri Sun beverages, and Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies, are now the lead sponsors of TerraCycle Brigades. These nationwide recycling programs make a donation for every piece of packaging a location collects.

“Sustainability is about looking out for future generations. Kraft is proud to partner with TerraCycle, an innovative company who has made it their mission to reduce the impact on landfills and to educate consumers on the importance of recycling,” says Jeff Chahley, Senior Director, Sustainability, Kraft Foods. “TerraCycle’s model of rewarding ’brigade hosts’ is a novel way of collecting packaging waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfills. It’s so cool to see trash turned into merchandise that’s unlike anything else on the market.”

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