The Power of Suggestion – JÜCE

by Gary Meyer

The late night talk shows do variations on the “man of the street” interviews that often make people look like fools.

We know that they edit out hundreds of interviews that do not meet their agenda but so what…it can be very funny.

Jimmy Kimmel has challenged people’s understanding of the gluten-free and GMO trends. Now he had his team ask people at a farmers’ market to comment on samples of a new cold-pressed drink called “Jüce.” In reality the drinks were made of Skittles, Tang, Fun Dip, and melted Creamsicles. But when told they were tasting healthy and natural juices, people’s reactions were enthusiastically positive.

It has caused a bit of a controversy online about this stunt being dangerous for those with allergies. We have to believe that most concerned people will ask questions before sampling. I suspect the producers even inquire up front to prevent problems and lawsuits. And those who appear have to sign a waiver/agreement that they might be on TV.

At the Fancy Food Show (written about recently by Risa Nye) each year, there are hundreds of new products and many of them taste terrible. Someone comes up with an idea. Their family and friends encourage them to bring it to market, often spending all their savings. Too bad those around them could not be truthful and tell them it was not ready for the masses. I have stood back and watched as person after person took a sample and then walked quickly to the next aisle looking for a garbage can to spit it out.

At Costco the other day they were handing out “delicious cookies.” I thought they tasted nasty and had a weird texture. But as the sampler asked, “Aren’t they good?” people would agree and put a huge Costco size box of them in their basket. The power of suggestion.

Gary Meyer headshotGary Meyer co-founded Landmark Theatres in 1975, the first national arthouse chain in the U.S. focused on creative marketing strategies to build loyal audiences for non-Hollywood fare. After selling Landmark, he consulted on projects for Sundance Cinemas and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas, created the Dockers Classically Independent Film Festival and Tube Film Festival for the X Games, and resurrected the 1926 Balboa Theatre in San Francisco. Meyer also founded the online magazine, in 2014, with the EatDrinkFilms Festival to tour nationally in 2015.

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