Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Lie detection...

Mobile technology offers valuable lie detection potential, especially when it comes to detecting gross marketing exaggerations. How so?

Well, let's take bottled water as an example.

Seth Godin's forthcoming book is called "All Marketers Are Liars". He's started a new blog especially for it. One entry is about bottled water and the marketing-hype that is now used to describe plain old water. This resonates with a recent shopping experience...

In the supermarket I happened upon a range of bottled water products from the same manufacturer, but each with a separate claim on the label. From memory, one said something like "re-vitalizing", another "detox - liver cleanser" and the last one said "diet aid", or something like that. Interested, I read the ingredients...

They were all water, but with different flavourings. That's it! Not even a fancy-named herbal tincture, nor a lowly vitamin...nothing. Just flavourings....and....artificial sweeteners (AS).

I don't want to get into a debate about nutrition, but for my money, any product with AS in it does not come under the rubric of healthy and certainly not detox. I think just about any nutritionist would back me up on this.

One day in the mobile-connected era, we are going to be able to scan product codes on our mobiles and do our own product checks. Let's ignore the details for now, but one possibility will be to ask "is this healthy for me?" In the consumer-powered world of open source health, we shall be able to get an "honest" answer to such a question.

The point here is that with mobile technology, we can effectively supplant the marketing messages on product packaging in situ with our own messages from trusted sources, whatever they might be. This applies to all kinds of products and services, not just bottled water...

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