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Marketer's assault on our Language 2: "Evolution" / "Educate"

Marketer's assault on our Language = MAOL

What do you do to wash your behind in the washroom? Do you trust your hands to do the job with water, or do you use paper?
One day in college, a Chinese professor talked about this pertinent question when talking about cultural differences. She talked about how people see tissue paper as an essential solution, while there is an ecologically better solution 'at hand!'. The students were surprised with her point of view.
Most of the students hailing from Indian metros, saw the tissue as a better alternative, a logical next step to the 'primitive' practice of washing with hands. That was one of the easy ways to differentiate oneself from the lower classes. The upper class is the one that has access to western lifestyle, which in Indian imagination is a 'step up', a logical next step.
But this was different. This was a Chinese lifestyle too. (which is fairly absent from Indian imagination and hence exotic). and here was a Chinese woman with a whole new perspective -  she saw the difference in practice as just that - a difference. She, as a matter of fact was advocating to Chinese people to adopt this 'India practice' to save the millions of trees that get cut to produce the tissue papers.

So which cultural practices are just 'different' and which ones are really 'better', the logical improvements that differentiate between 'primitive' and 'modern'?

Use of sanitary napkins seems to be certainly a better solution than the traditional practices.
But is the use of diapers for infants really better? The cost notwithstanding (current prices make it a upper class product), how does it affect the child's health, its daily routine, the parent child dynamic?
How about fairness creams (for the face, vagina, arm pits and god knows what next) products for women? Are they essentials or unwarranted monstrosities hoisted on people by marketers who are exploiting our deepest insecurities?
Dove especially is an excellent example of a brand that has mastered doublespeak. On the one hand, by creating products that target insecurities it is creating 'new needs' (who in India wanted to have shaved arm pits 10 years back?) while communicating it in the garb of female empowerment. Its genius! The best of the marketing brands in the world are doing the same kind of doublespeak.


Central to this doublespeak is the assumption of linear development. It is the assumption that with time, all human interventions have been for the better. It is a basic premise for advertising - a new product in never merely good, it is 'better'. With the new vocabulary of 'versions', it is now getting even more deeply entrenched - the notion of continuous improvement, of development, of 'evolution'.
That brings me to today's word - Evolution.

Olive oil, cheese, razors, mouthwash, junk food, cola drink, a billion skin creams... marketers of most of these categories talk of Indian market as something in need of evolution. The westerns patterns of consumption being the logical next step for the burgeoning Indian middle class.
Dig through quotes by FMCG marketers in the leading financial dailies of India. Many of the FMCG marketers use the word 'evolution' at least once when they talk about growth in India.
Shampoo brands feel that Indians are just not worried enough about their split ends as much as they should be.
Cola drink brands feel that Indians will surely 'evolve' their meals to feature cola drinks in it.
Fast food brands feel that Indians need to be 'educated' about processed food 'meals' that are apparently 'healthy'.
Milk brand feels that Indians need to be 'educated' about the benefit of processed milk that might be 2-3 month old, over the regular practice of drinking fresh local milk. (Completely beats me, why are people shifting to this expensive and stale option.)
Whisky brand feels that Indians need to be 'educated' about the various silly variations and processes of alcohol making, and be ready to spend twice/ thrice for the marginal change (not necessarily improvement) over the product.
Chocolate brand feels that Indians should 'evolve' from their traditional sweets to chocolates. 
and so on... 
 None of these advocated changes are any better than current Indian practices. They are certainly not 'evolved' practices that are making lives better. They are simply new markets - the blue ocean of newer and newer insecurities and concerns.
The new notion of the word 'evolution' perhaps is not about the notion of improvement at all, but merely the burgeoning appetite for consumption.
Evolution is the new euphemism coined by marketers to mean, unwarranted changes in lifestyle towards obsessive consumption.

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