Are you using the right bait? And what about the line? The New York Times Book Review published an interesting essay – “How Writers Build the Brand” by Tony Perrottet – on the strategies and tactics that authors use to promote their books and themselves.
The article calls out Ernest Hemingway, who so mastered the craft that he was able to extend his author aura to a range of brands, including Pan Am, Parker Pens and Ballantine Ale.
Image: Advertisement From P. Ballantine & Sons, Newark (1951) via The New York Times
Dr. Fekjær proves that trying to sell alcoholic beverages without marketing makes as much sense as trying to distribute these products without bottles. Chapter 4 shows that the perceived effects of alcohol are not inherent, but learned — dependant on the set of expectations. Chapter 8 reviews research where consumers can’t tell “better” alcoholic beverages from cheaper versions. Plus, drinkers of a particular brand seemingly are unable to distinguish that drink from others unless labeled.
Brand preference and even the product experience must be learned; marketing serves as the teacher.
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The Psychology of Getting High
by Hans Olav Fekjær, MD, psychiatrist,
Part 1 – Unconscious motives for intoxicant use
Chapter 1: Intoxicants as symbols and rituals
“Having a glass of wine is so nice and cozy” —
Symbols generate moods —
Symbols are valuable tools —
The symbolic functions of the intoxicants —
Rituals and the spirit of community —
Drug use as a compulsory ritual —
Ceremonial chemistry —
The wine snobbery and cocaine snobbery —
Snobbery is not perceived subjectively
Chapter 2: Intoxication as alibi for performances
The social psychology of intoxication —
Explaining behavior and performances —
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Principles —
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Examples —
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Principles —
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Examples
Chapter 3: Intoxication as alibi for actions
Responsibility during intoxication —
Forgive them, for they know not… —
A sense of freedom – for better or for worse —
A strict conscience on vacation —
… but more often, a permissive conscience is on vacation —
Intoxication for different purposes —
Advertising the alibi —
The extenuating circumstance in court —
What is meant by “drinking too much”? —
The cause of counter reactions: Problem behavior —
Do they really “not know what they do”? —
Intoxication as a collective self-deceit
Part 2 – Conscious motives for intoxicant use
Chapter 4: Are intoxicants magical substances?
Magical substances or learned effects? —
Research with humans and animals —
How do we identify our feelings? —
Can chemical effects be learned? —
The power of expectations: The mighty placebo
Can intoxicants be studied by blind tests?
Chapter 5: Do illegal drugs have pleasant effects?
The pioneer study of marijuana —
Later research on marijuana intoxication —
Do amphetamine and cocaine have pleasant effects? —
Are addicts and drugs users motivated by the chemical effects? —
Psychological effects of morphine and
Psychological effects of LSD, inhalants etc.
Chapter 6: What are the psychological effects of alcohol?
Blind tests with alcohol —
The “Marlatt Method” —
Alcohol and sex —
Alcohol and inhibitions —
Is alcohol a tranquilizer? —
Alcohol and aggression —
Alcohol, mood and self-confidence —
The effects of alcohol upon skill and performance —
Blind tests with alcohol – and so what? —
Alcohol as a natural adulterant —
The best studies: alcohol in different cultures —
Learning the spell of alcohol —
“Loss of inhibitions” – only now and then —
The behavioral effects of alcohol – conclusions
Chapter 7: The chemistry of “getting high”
The adventurous experiences of intoxication and religion —
The pharmacological basis of getting “high” —
“Getting high” — not an effect, but an interpretation.
Chapter 8: Do alcoholic beverages taste good?
Taste preferences: inborn or learned? —
Is alcohol of vital importance for the taste? —
Do “good” alcoholic beverages taste better than “poor”? —
Alcohol, taste and illusions
Chapter 9: Research on motives for intoxicant use, in perspective
From superstition to science: demystification of
How did alcohol and other drugs become
“psycho-active” drugs? —
Chemical hypothesis or indisputable motives? —
Understanding intoxicant use – is it possible?
Chapter 10: May conventional wisdom be changed?
Separating alcohol use from disinhibition —
Putting theory into practice —
Altered expectations give altered experiences
Showing a man with a hand on a cylindrical object protruding from between his legs, this billboard is similar to an Absolut Twist ad. There was a time when drinking alone was condemned as leading to onanism. Now marketers promote liquor as an adjunct to masturbation.
The chair has phallic images carved into the frame.
Installed in New York City at 135th Street and 12th Avenue, by the Amtrak train tracks and the Hudson River.