Fair trade logo issues

This is the final blog of the semester, where has all the time gone. Now since it is almost Christmas and most people will be writing a Christmas related blog, as a maverick I have decided not to indulge in such practises. Instead I am going to bring your attention to a video that my housemates showed to me last week.

The Victoria Secrets Fashion Show (2012), a mind-blowing experience I urge you all to watch it especially the males reading this blog. The best-looking women in the world barley clothed and music need I sell it anymore?

Now does this have anything to do with my blog? No, I thought it just needed to be brought to people’s attentions so I hope you enjoy. This week’s blog will branch out on last weeks blog on fair trade. The other day I was coming back from the maclab (my second home essentially) and popped into Aldi. At the checkout I saw some malteasers and decided to have a quick look at the packet.


At first I did not notice that this product now contains a fair trade mark on it. Why? Well 1) the logo is tiny and 2) when I picked up the packet my finger covered the logo. So is this really the most logical place to put this logo? People always have good intentions despite their ethical intentions; people rarely buy ethical products ethical products (Auger and Devinney 2007). This could partly be due to a lack of knowledge about buying ethically (Vyth et al 2009), could be that people just do not want to purchase ethically, or maybe products are just not making consumers aware of the fair trade standards. This comes as a surprise to me because people do have good intentions to purchase these types of products (reference), however only a small logo is applied to the packet. Consumers often purchase products with the logo’s unintentionally (Vyth, Steenhuis, Mallant et al. 2009)

People tend to look first in the centre, then to the left, then to the right (reference). If this is true for eye tracking on products then the fair trade logo is blatantly in the wrong place. The right side has been stipulated to be the last place a person will look, if this is true then the fair trade logo will be something that is least payed attention to, so why is it there? It seems ridiculous that such an important logo has not been made more obvious on packaging.

A further problem I have noticed is that the colour of the fair trade logo seems to have changed from what I remember it as. It seems that the logo is now devoid of any colour, and is now made up of just black and white colouring. Though I believe that neither of the logos possess much potential to jump out the packaging a bit of colour always goes far. Colour is an integral part of any logo (Madden, Hewitt, & Roth 2000) it really can help people notice and make things stand out. So this change to a rather bland logo makes no sense to me.

fair trade

I realise that there is sometimes a price difference between fair trade products and non fair trade products, which stops consumers from buying fair trade products, however this difference is not evident in chocolate products really. As stated before people do tend to have good intentions to buy ethically however if the fair trade logo is left in a redundant place and left so small then this will not be effective on chocolate packaging. Do you think there could be more done to make sure that these logos are more recognizable? Or are the logos sufficient enough in your opinions?



Madden, T. J., Hewitt, K. & Roth, M. S. (2000), “Managing images in different
cultures: a cross-national study of color meanings and preferences”, Journal of
International Marketing, 8(4), pp. 90–107


Fair trades health halo

Right to start this blog I would like to pose a question to all you consumer column blog lovers. What does the term fair trade mean to you? Now take a minute to ponder, write some suggestions on a piece of paper if you really want…………. Stop!!! Time is up, so to start with fair trade to me is an act of equity, paying those who make/supply the products a fair profit. Now I am hoping that you all had the same sort of description in your head. If not I would like to hear some of your thoughts on what fair trade means to you. Now this weeks blog is not specifically on fair trade more in the attributions we apply to such logo’s (fair trade, low fat etc).

So out of these two same chocolate bars which one contains less calories?



Did any of you choose the lower bar of chocolate? If so have a think why. Was it because it was a bar of chocolate with a fair trade logo on it? I know it sounds bizarre but this is what some people genuinely believe , chocolate containing a fair trade logo contains less calories than one that does not.

But why? I mean we all know that chocolate contains a modest few calories. A bar of Dairy Milk contains a healthy 240 calories in just a 45g bar. Now how many of you have sat had a little cry whilst watching the notebook and just destroyed a 100g bar of dairy milk? Yes, don’t worry I know you all have, the problem is that a 100g bar of dairy milk contains a whopping 530 calories which equals about one quarter of a women’s GDA and a fifth of men’s. Yes that seemingly small harmless bar of chocolate can be pretty devastating on the old calorie count

How does this logo manage to trick some customers to believe that there are fewer calories in fair trade chocolate? Well the phenomenon has been described using the ‘halo effect’(Edward Thorndike 1920), ‘whereby an initial favourable impression promotes subsequent favourable evaluations’ (Schludt, Muller & Schwarz, 2012). The fair trade logo shows that food was produced in accordance with international fair trade standards. So the fair trade logo communicates the message that the product reaches ethical standards, however states nothing about the calorie or nutritional information. So the inferences that are made due to this logo hold no rational perspective. Schludt, Muller & Schwarz (2012) research found that participants evaluated fair trade chocolate as having fewer calories than non-fair trade chocolate, more interestingly participants rated chocolate from proposed ethical companies as containing fewer calories. The mere knowledge of knowing that a company is ethical can distort peoples image of calories which I find quite crazy.

choc 1

The fact of the matter is that this is not the only label that people seem to have crossed attributions for. Now since there is a current obesity epidemic in the UK it seems people are applying favourable attributes to a range of foods. Research has found that low fat stickers placed on confectionery products such as M&Ms and granola bars led to decreased calorie perceptions (Wansink & Chandon 2006). In absence of salient calorie information people try to gauge this information using other attributes (Kardes, Posavac, and Cronley 2004). So low fat logo’s claiming that chocolate is healthier will associate this healthier stance with lower calories. The graph below shows Wansink & Chandon (2006) results showing differences between calorie estimations between regular labels and low-fat labels. Pretty shocking right? Just a simple low-fat label can have a profound effect on calorie perceptions. It seems like these days people come up with any excuse to eat chocolate.

choc graph

The graph and more information can be found here

From reading this blog do you think now that chocolate with low-fat labels should also state clearly amount of calories contained in one pack? Have any of you ever thought that low-fat labels or fair trade labels equate to lower calories?


Thorndike, E.L (1920). “A constant error in psychological ratings.”. Journal of Applied Psychology 4(1): 25–29

Alcohol – Advertising influencing youth to drink

Good afternoon sports fans, another week and another mind blowing blog for you all to read. Today’s topic is one very close to my heart and one the majority of us can associate with as university students. Yes you may have guessed it and that is alcohol. As a reformed new mature human being I feel like I should discuss the mass amount of drinking in the UK and if advertising has a potential in influencing youth consumption pattern.

Alcohol per capita

This map shows alcohol consumption per capita and as you can see Europe including the United Kingdom is a nice dark colour indicating that we consume a lot of alcohol per capita. If you just look to the left of the UK you can see that Ireland are in a league of their own and are the darkest shade of blue.

So we have been left with this stigma that we as a nation consume too much alcohol. But why? Why do we consumer so much alcohol? Now as a university students I have been involved in the drinking culture maybe a little too much. Coming from Bangor Uni it’s safe to say that there is not much else to do. As most of you have already heard student’s consumer more alcohol than non-students (reference). Now there are many reasons to drink e.g. it helps people relax, social acceptance etc. My main focus today will be on the effect of alcohol advertising on consumption.

This little advert here sums up what alcohol adverts do well, the final caption saying ‘alcohol ads show the world one way’ followed by ‘are you listening’. This is true the alcohol industries advertise their products which convey a message of if you drink you’ll have fun. From my own opinion I believe that it is the younger generation that are most at risk when it comes to alcohol advertising. Now I realise that drinking occurs at a young age and a lot of the influence to do so comes from peer pressure. However there must be a reason behind why there has been such a tight control on what is acceptable to show during alcohol adverts.

To start with Grube (1993) stated that the appeal of the advertisements is as important as the amount of exposure to the advertisement. Liking of, or affect toward alcohol advertisements may therefore be a key factor that increases attention. If an advert grabs people’s attention and they are more engaged then people become more influenced by it and this increases the likelihood of purchase. Liking, in turn, is predicted from specific advertisements elements, including humor, attractive characters and an engaging story line (Martin et al., 2002). As Regan (1971) explains if we like something or are favourable towards it then we are more likely to comply. So here are a couple of adverts that use apply humour to alcohol. See what you think.

and here is an advertisement for all the boys out there

So on the basis of what has been discussed above these adverts through using humour and attractive characters (especially in the last ad) are more susceptible to capturing youth attention, and they develop more favourable attitudes. Meng-Jinn et al, (2005) found that perceived likeability of a beer advert influenced positive affect evoked by elements featured in the adverts (humour, engagement). This liking of specific elements can be related to and contribute to likeability of the ad. If likeability was high then this demonstrated the ad effectiveness which indicated purchase intent. The appeal of the advert and also how favourable an alcohol advert is can affect peoples intentions to drink. Waiters (2001) explains how youth are attracted to the lifestyles and image around alcohol especially in adverts that deliver it with humour and youth music. Humour seems to be a key element in alcohol advertising.

Research has found links between advertising and consumption levels, Saffer (2002) found a positive effect from advertising and alcohol consumption. Smith and Foxcroft (2009) studied the relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising and drinking behaviour in young people. They found that increased exposure to alcohol advertising was effective in influencing non-drinkers to drink; the effect was not so effective on already established drinkers. This indicates that maybe alcohol advertising is not overall effective on those who consume alcohol already, but plays more of a role on influencing those who do not to drink. As you all know once you have started drinking you are always impartial to a refreshing ice cold pint on a warm summer day. This is particularly important if applied to young population and should be paid particular notice too.

Overall does alcohol advertising actually play a role? There is research out there to suggest it does, however many of us do not think we are affected by these adverts and start drinking due to social norms. If alcohol adverts did not affect consumption rates then why is there such a tight regulation on what you can air? Alcohol advertising may play a role in influencing the youth to drink however maybe its influence is minimal unless constant repeat of exposure to alcohol

Apple Not as Secure as Always

Are the fears of people about Apple in the post Steve Jobs era coming true? When Steve Jobs died people thought that Apple would be hosed without him, loosing his creative input and leadership. However to begin with Apple’s stocks were sky high, they were releasing products and things looked promising. But now a blip has occurred, Apples stocks are down 20% from 21st September from its intraday high of over $700,000. If you would like to see a video explaining some problems with apple at the moment please follow this link



The main issue appears to be a breakdown between two sides of the company. One side of the company emphasises the need for beautiful products, whilst the other side to the company concentrates on supply. There appears to be a breakdown between these two areas and due to this Apple is falling short of meeting the huge demand for their products, most notably the iPhone 5. Terry Gou (2012) has stated that it is complicated to manufacture iPhones and that they are falling short of demand. The intricate design and emphasis on producing beautiful products has led to unrealistic targets and producing a strain on manufacturing. The introduction of the iPad Mini does not seem to have the necessary provisions to help Apple out of this slump, and may add to it. With the release of the iPad mini and the cost of the iPad mini being significantly less that that of the iPad, this will lead to a decline in the iPad product line as a whole.

This is not the sole problem for Apple either. Apple still need to monitor competitor’s products, Patrick Gibson an original member who worked on the first iPad has voiced his concern that Google are becoming more prominent. Google appear to be advancing in areas that they are not competent with quicker than Apple. Google’s main downfall has been design; their phones have not been as user friendly or as pleasing to the eye as the iPhone. Whilst Apples weaknesses reside in web services. The main issue here is that Google is rapidly advancing their design. The Gap between Google and Apples design is a lot closer in contrast to the gap between Apple and Google’s web services. When customers come to evaluating products Apple will win on the appearance but they are in danger of falling behind in the operation department.


So where do Apple go from here? With a mix up in the demand to satisfy customer’s people may start turning to alternative phones such as Google Nexus or another Android phone. If so then Apple will struggle to sell in the next quarter and profit margins will be down again. But how is Apple going to rival the rising standards of Google phones initiative? One idea put forward was for Apple to buy Twitter to supply more web service innovation. How do you think Apple will respond to such a disappointing quarter? Will the Google Nexus be the best phone going this year?

The Illusion are these two the same or not?

Hello blog fans, I would like to introduce a shocking fact that I found out the other day and here it is

These two products are both by Häagen-Dazs, one being the ‘Original’ and the other a newer product called ‘Five’ milk. The name for the ‘Five’ milk ice cream came from the principle of it only containing five ingredients.  Now if we look closely at the ingredients of these two ice creams we can see that they contain the exact same ingredients, however they are presented in a slightly altered list.

Original contains

  • Cream
  • Skim Milk
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Processed with alkali
  • Egg Yolk

Five Milk Contains

  • Skim Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Cocoa Processed with alkali

Ta-Da Häagen-Dazs has created a whole new product by changing the name of the ice cream and altering the ingredient list. Häagen-Dazs have advertised this ice cream emphasising the products simplicity and use of ‘ONLY’ five ingredients. Due to the emphasis that the ‘Five’ milk ice cream only contains five different ingredients, consumers are left unaware that the original ice cream only uses five ingredients which happen to be identical to those of the ‘Five’ milk.

However despite leading consumers to believe that these two ice creams are quite different, Häagen-Dazs have used this emphasis on the simplicity of this ice cream to their advantage. The ‘Five’ milk ice cream has been a successful product for Häagen-Dazs. But why? One explanation for this maybe to do with Michael Pollon’s (2009) food rules, one which states that you shouldn’t eat any food with more than five ingredients (especially applies to junk food). A further possibility to its success is found in the work of Park, Millburg and Lawson (1991), they found that product extensions success is helped by high product similarity. Well there we go thats why it has been so successful, because it is basically the same ice cream people will evaluate it highly due to high product similarity. Häagen-Dazs have created a seemingly healthy ice cream by emphasising the amount of ingredients used in it. Now days people are trying to eat healthier so the prospect of a healthier ice cream will tempt a lot of consumers. As a lot of consumers see healthy diets as being more expensive (Barratt 1997) people will be more enticed to buy a product which only contains five ingredients and apparently healthier. Häagen-Dazs advertises Five as an “All-natural ice cream crafted with only five ingredients for incredibly pure, balanced flavour… and surprisingly less fat!”. The one issue that lies here is that there is only one difference between Five milk and Original (drum roll please).

Yes and that is that it contains more skimmed milk than cream, so in a way there is less fat in the ice cream, however I can’t imagine there is a substantial amount of difference between the two ice creams.

So how do you feel about these two products and how Häagen-Dazs has used their advertisement campaign? Do you think it’s right to in a way deceive their customers? Or is it all perfectly fine? Thanks for reading and remember!! Companies are very sneaky!!!!

Stuart Broad & Maximuscle hmmmmmm

So my latest venture has been that I joined a gym. Yes I am a gymer , with an ambition to be a professional body builder. Just joking about the last bit, however the first statement stands. At the beginning of my master’s course joined DW gymnasium. It is fair to say that I am really enjoying the active lifestyle after what I can only describe as a booze filled 3 years at university.

So on with today’s topic, it was recently brought to my attention by a house mate that there was a new face for maximuscle, a prominent nutrition company for people interested in getting massive. So I decided to look at the new advert by maximuscle which is shown below.

Now the advert contains 3 sports personalities Dan Keatings (Olympic athlete), Courtney Lawes (Rugby Player), and Stuart Broad (Cricket Player). It’s the latter of the 3 sports personalities that I am interested in discussing today, now after discussing this advert with my house mates we all came to the conclusion that Stuart Broad was less than inspiring endorser for maximuscle.

But why? Stuart Broad is a legitimate sportsman and a very talented cricketer, however when I think of Stuart Broad I do not associate him with body building or being a complete gym machine.


Kamins (1990) came up with the Match up Hypothesis which states that the characteristics of the product should ‘match-up’ with the image conveyed by the celebrity. Now here seems to be my first problem with this advert, as stated before I don’t believe the image of this sports personality matches up with the product. This could lead to consumers not looking at maximuscle as a favourable or even first choice protein retailer. Martin (1996) looked into the effects of the primary sport of the endorser and its effect on consumer responses. His results indicated that the image of the sport can enhance, or detract from, the effects of the personality and appearance of the athlete making the endorsement. So looking back at the advert, an Olympic gymnast using maximuscle …… makes sense, a rugby player using maximuscle makes sense to me aswell, but a cricketer doesn’t really fit the bill. The sport Stuart Broad plays and is associated with does not match up with going to the gym and getting tanked, we expect more physical sports such as rugby to be endorsing such products.

So what does this mean for maximuscle, well it’s fair to say that I think the product may have lost some credibility from this advert. When people look at this advert I do not think they will make the association between Stuart Broad and the gym and therefore does not fit with the match up hypothesis. Maximuscle may have made a little bit of a mistake here by using Stuart Broad in their latest advert, how do you think people will respond to seeing Stuart Broad as a new endorser of maximuscle?

Smell Before You Buy

If there is one thing I know about ladies and there maybe only one thing I know, is that the ladies love the smell of a man. So how does a man get all the girls? Well apparently it is by smelling nice, or that is how it is depicted in cologne adverts. It was a simpler time when a man had to rely solely upon his own pheromones. Sadly for the men about today we have to put in a little more effort now by investing in some nice smelling sprays, those lucky ladies. So how do we choose the best cologne for our needs?  If we want to smell of nature then the advertisement below might work well.

Clearly, this is not the look men will go for these days. Men want to feel and smell sexy, and by doing this we feel ready for the day ahead and feel confident talking to the ladies. Take the image below; this is more like it right? By advertising Dolce & Gabbana in this way we associate the brand with attractiveness. Till and Busler (2000) found an ‘attractiveness effect’, this effect meant that physically attractive people influenced consumers brand attitude and purchase intent.  Using attractive models in sexually explicit images can help with brand attitude and intent to buy.

Another example is shown below for the cologne ‘I Am King’!

Masculinity is another attractive factor when purchasing cologne. The examples provided portray a masculine trait that all men aspire for. Lippke (1995) believed that advertising representations influence cultural and individual conceptions of identity, and inadvertently have the power to influence our views of masculinity and what is perceived as attractive (Schroeder & Brogerson 2003). So potentially when we see cologne adverts displaying ripped men with women draped all over them we perceive this as what women find attractive and in turn believe that this product will give us some of these qualities.

But why do we spend so much time studying these adverts?

We are known to engage with an image more if it contains the opposite sex, as this elicits the highest level of arousal (Bradley, Codispoti, Cuthbert & Lang 2001). If the so-called models in these pictures are physically attractive this will also attract your attention (Joseph 1982). Many researcher’s have shown the effects of sexual imaging’s positive effect on attention, so much so that 78% of women ads in men’s magazines were sexually attired compared to 40% in 1993 (Reichert & Carpenter 2004). Physically attractive models can help with advert evaluations (Baker and Churchill 1977) so the more we favour an advert; the more likely we are to buy the product.

So here we come another end to another blog, so what have we learnt today? Well cologne adverts have nothing to do with the actual product, but the use of sexual pictures are effective in selling these products. So my hot tip for the day is if you are ever swayed by a cologne advert remember to smell the cologne first, the adverts gives you no incline into if it will smell good.

Suspense & Humour = Best ads?

So a new week and a new blog bet you are all excited. Right before I start I would like to show you this advert, as this will be the main focal point of my blog. Now some of you who studied consumer psychology last year with James may remember this advert.


WOW!! Just wow, how cool was that? I know what an unexpected twist at the end. Go on watch it again, I know your dying to.  Hope you’re all fully able to comprehend how cool this advert was. So where to begin with that advert? Well I suppose it’s best to say that this advert was a bold move by dirt devil which inherently payed off! The producers definitely thought outside the box, instead of going down the same old boring root of showing a happy person hovering their perfect house with their perfect children and general perfect lives. For instance take this Dyson ad, would you prefer an easy use Dyson ball which glides around your living room? Or would you much rather a hoover which has suction power to suck people through the floor?

You would be crazy to go for the Dyson. So why is this advert so effective? Well firstly I think it incorporates the use of suspense and humour well and keeps the viewer attentive. The advert is built round a re-enactment of a well-known scene from The Exorcist and uses it to build an aura of suspense. Suspense does not tend to be used in advertising enough in my opinion and there is evidence out there that (something) its effectiveness. Both Madrigal & Bee (2005) and Alwitt (2002) found positive effects for the use of suspense in adverts, the main finding being that viewers had more favourable attitudes and evaluations of suspenseful adverts compared to non-suspenseful adverts.

So what else does this advert do well? Towards the end of the advert after the build-up of tension an suspense, we are all waiting to see what the screaming was from the room and POW the advert pulls out a piece of genius. At first when you see the girl sucked up to the roof you may be thinking what on earth is going on here? But as the camera starts to slowly pan upwards you see an old woman just hovering her carpet thus introducing humour into the ad. Now humour can be a powerful tool in advertising but must be used within reason, Weinburger and Gulas (1992) after reviewing the use of humour in advertising concluded that humorous advertising cannot guarantee better adverts and needs to be used with care. Often if humour is used incorrectly then it is less effective than normal advertisements. However if used correctly like I believe it has in this advert humour can enhance evaluations (Strick, Madelijn, van Baaren, Rick, Holland, Rob, van Knippenberg, 2009) and brand attitude (Gelb, Betsy, Zinkhan & George 1986).

So does this advert have it all to become a successful advert? Well in most cases yes, some may complain and say that the advert is a little too long and viewers may get bored. However that is why suspense has been used to help keep the viewer interested. One problem that advert may have is branding, the branding in the advert is generally poor however research as previously stated shows that humour can help with brand attitude. Overall I like this advert and have built a small case of why it is good. Hope you all enjoyed it, have a nice day..

Music’s influence over memory

Sooooo, my first blog EVER!!! So I feel like I should shed some light on what type of person I am. First and foremost I am a person with a passion for music, music dominates a large part of my life, I never leave the house without my iPod and even when I am in I always find myself listening to music. I have always marvelled at my ability to recall lyrics from a vast range of songs with relatively no struggle, however I do not find that I am able to recall lectures in the same confident manner. Why? Do I not invest as much in my work as I do music? No the fact of the matter is, is that the music helps me to recall the lyrics

Now there is extensive research on music’s effect on recall. Wessel & Kroenke (1995) found in their research that the use of background music helped participants recall more words. Whilst Kilgour, Jakobson & Cuddy (2000) found that melodies have the ability to aid text recall. So following these principles’ that music facilitates recall, can businesses incorporate this into their advertising strategy, can music and lyrics influence us to remember a business brand or product.

Frustratingly it seems so, I am sure all of you will have encountered this advert at some point. The ‘Go Compare’ advert for insurance, now I know what a lot of you are thinking, when will he just go away? So before we divulge any further here is an advert of the ‘Go Compare Man’ being blown up.

Feeling better now? I am. However annoying this advert maybe everyone seems to remember it. So has the music made it more memorable? Well in a study by Wallace & Wanda (1994) they found that text is better recalled when heard in a song compared to when it is spoken, especially if the lyrics are repeated. The ‘Go Compare Advert’ plays directly to this principle, repeats the line ‘Go compare’ to enhance the chances of remembering it and to a strangely catchy melody.

Music can also be used to associate a brand with a particular song. Baumgartner (1992) looked into the effect of music in advertising and brand association. Microsoft have done this brilliantly, they have taken a well-known song Alex Clare – Too Close

and incorporated that song into their new internet explorer advert.

Now I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear this song now (which I love btw) I associate it with Microsoft, so from their point of view job done, they seem to have successfully tied Alex Clare’s song to their brand. This helps reinforce Baumgartner’s (1992) original proposal that music can help make associations with a brand. So for me now Alex Clare and Microsoft will forever be entwined together due to a good bit of advertising.

So to conclude todays blog, music does have a great deal of influence over us, it can helps us to remember adverts even if we sometimes don’t want to, it can be used to help reinforce a brand, there are many other influences music may have over us in advertising, but you will never know (unless this blog sparked your interest, in that case get reading).

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