FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)

By Daniel Brouse
For Widgette / Private Business

Has America turned into a giant Tupperware Party?

The field of consumer behavior is a social science that studies the psychology of consumerism. There are five basic psychological tactics to marketing:
* emotional and psychological appeals
* optimize credibility by highlighting your flaws
* re-position your competition
* promote exclusivity
* introduce fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD)

Fear, Uncertainty, And Doubt (FUD)

The "Daisy Ad" Video

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Fear is very powerful in marketing. An example of fear advertising happened when Lyndon Johnson ran against Barry Goldwater in 1964. Johnson wanted to stoke public fear that Goldwater would cause a nuclear war. The “Daisy ad” or “Peace, Little Girl” ran only one time. It showed a little girl picking petals from a daisy, followed by a nuclear explosion and Johnson ominously stating, “These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark.” Johnson won, carried 44 states, and took 61% of the vote in a landslide victory.

One of the first companies to use FUD as its business model is Tupperware. They pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. “A Tupperware party is run by a Tupperware ‘consultant’ for a host who invites friends and neighbors into his or her home to see the product line. Tupperware hosts are rewarded with free products based on the level of sales made at their party. Parties also take place in workplaces, schools, and other community groups.”

When friends and neighbors attend a Tupperware party, the host introduces fear, uncertainty, and doubt to the participants. The consumer is made to worry what their friends and neighbors will think of them if they don’t make a purchase. There is fear of being publicly humiliated and doubt whether you will be un-friended.

The most disturbing use of FUD is in modern politics. Donald Trump used every trick in the book in the Presidential election of 2016. The Donald's campaign relied entirely on fear, uncertainty and doubt to motivate people. The atmosphere in the United States made one wonder — “Has America turned into a giant Tupperware party?”

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