The Eggs & Bacon Lie
Your beloved bacon was not embraced by chance.
Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, pioneer of PR, and author of “Propaganda” and “Crystallizing Public Opinion,” used his uncle’s techniques mixed with public relations to engineer public opinion.
In the 1920s he was approached by Beech-Nut Packing Company to help them sell more bacon.
Bernays “suspected” that a bacon and egg breakfast would benefit the American over the traditional simple toast & coffee breakfast.
The physician-on-staff at Bernays’ agency, able to take a hint, confirmed his suspicions.
Bernays went on to write 5,000 of his physician friends requesting that they confirm as well.
This form of “study” would characterize the half-truthful nature of marketing throughout the rest of the 20th century.
20,000! That’s a lot of physicians!
Bernays published the “study” in major newspapers across the country and not only increased sales of bacon for Beech-Nut packing co., he defined the American breakfast.
Bacon was thrust upon us by a public relations campaign.
Arguably, the unprecedented success of this PR campaign was fueled by the fact that bacon is delicious.
However, it’s important to remember that certain aspects of our culture, such as the belief that “a big breakfast is the way to go,” were engineered by PR counsels.
The effects of early Public Relations were so strong because the world had never encountered such persuasion outside of wartime propaganda.
Edward Bernay’s work was so influential that even Joseph Goebbels, a propagandist for Hitler, was a known admirer.
What other PR campaigns have influenced society so profoundly?
Leave a comment and let us know!