If I could work in any era of PR it would be right when Edward Bernays was making his mark on history.
He knew exactly how to make people want something. The good and the bad. I do not agree with many of the things that he promoted but I do give him props for pretty much hacking into people’s minds and making them, without force, to do what he wants them to do.
I would have loved to see his thought process on how he came up with ways to make people buy something. For instance….
Bernays made the bacon and eggs revolution.
Back in the day, coffee and toast was “the” breakfast. Beech Nuts, a meat company, wanted to sell their bacon. They hired Bernays to promote their product. So he took the scientific approach. He needed to find the need for eating bacon so people would see that need and it become a desire for them to buy.
Bernays found a doctor who stated that people lose energy at night so they need to eat a substantial breakfast in the morning.
Bingo. The bacon and eggs tradition was born. It was the perfect hardy breakfast. Beech nuts profits skyrocketed for there on out thanks to Mr. B himself.
Today we have the Denny’s Grand Slam and IHop’s delicious breakfasts. This all came from beech nut and you guessed it… Bernays.
People eat bacon and eggs because they just like them, but they didn’t know that this ideal breakfast was invented by someone who wanted to sell a product.
Bernay’s could make anything look good. I would be interesting to work with him and see how he concocted his ideas. Yet I would like to use his forces for good. 🙂
Watch this video for history on how cigarettes became popluar for women. Its 40 minutes long but look at it from 12:10-17:22. Let me tell you, this is something crazy.