Nat Geo Explores
- Public Health
如何在“史上最严游戏新规”下愉快玩耍--KAB 中国创业教育网:2021-7-19 · 中青在线版权与免责声明： 在接受本网站服务之前，请务必仔细阅读下列条款并同意本声明。 1、凡本网注明“来源：中青在线或中国青年报”或在视频窗口中有“中青在线LOGO”标识的所有作品，版权均属于中青在线或中国青年报社，未经本网授权，不得转载、摘编或伍其它方式使用上述作品。
You see a commercial promoting a swanky new gadget. And you just. Gotta. Have it.
Your favorite celebrity endorses a product.
You’re not exactly sure what it is, but you gotta get your hands on it, too.
Shopping can be one of the most fun pastimes, and there was even a time when shopping was good for you.
In fact, it could’ve saved your life.
In the 19th century, Americans had a different concept of what it meant to be clean.
They often didn't have running water, they didn't have flush toilets, so, when you don't have easy running water, the kind of cleanliness you can attain is limited.
people would wash in a basin, they might use some soap that Grandma had made with some lye, but they did not have an easy time of it, keeping their bodies or their homes clean, and they certainly didn't have shelves full of products.
Basically, life for many people was just dirty. But starting around the 1820s, people start realizing that living in filth wasn’t so good for their health.
infectious diseases began to go up in number in the United States in the 1800s, particularly in large cities.
Then scientific evidence started showing that microscopic organisms, or germs, often found in dirty homes and cities were the cause of disease.
This acceptance of the germ theory of disease was slow to come. Because, it depended on a belief that something you couldn't see was making you sick.
Oddly enough, some of the first enthusiasm for the germ theory did not come from the medical profession, but from advertisers of products,
The commodification of the germ theory of disease kind of came in two waves. The first wave was in the 1880s and into the 1890s, around toilets. Because of the experience with diseases like cholera and typhoid, public health authorities realized was spread by fecal matter from sick people going into drinking water.
I know it's really disgusting, but that is what was happening.
Some of the early products that were sold to protect people from those germs included water filters and plumbing innovations (some really fancy ones, too).
Phase two follows research that shows the spread of germs through personal contact, coughing, spitting, and sneezing.
When they began to understand that we have germs all over our skin, they're in our mouth, they're in our hair, that we can pass them when we shake hands, they realized that that person-to-person contact is significant in the spread of some, very deadly diseases.
Advertisers totally jumped on this and used those concerns to sell…furniture.
When you look at interior decorating in this time period, you can see a massive shift away from the Victorian to a more clean kind of style. So, instead of buying a velvet chair, you would want to buy a wicker chair that could be more easily cleaned. You would want to have hardwood floors and not carpets that couldn't be taken up, because rugs were very, very bad. Rugs that you could not take out and beat, very, very bad.
And of course, when you have all this swanky new furniture, you had to make sure it’s clean and germ-free. And advertisers were more than ready to sell their cleaning products.
And they sold them just about any way they could – even by co-opting someone’s name
Listerine is named after Joseph Lister, who really cut down on post-surgery infections,
So, if you were going to name a product after someone, Lister was a good choice. He had no control over this. Those are the days when you could appropriate someone's name without asking them. To ward off colds, gargle with that Listerine and you'll protect yourself.
There was nothing in your life that Listerine couldn't be used to make better.
Advertisers also targeted people’s insecurities, often within the cultural norms of that time, to sell their products, claiming for instance, that their mouthwash could help you with your social life.
And people totally bought it.
Advertisers also caught the eye of a group more genuinely geared toward the public interest.
So, our public health educators see that advertising is becoming a potent way to get people to buy certain products. They think "We should use some of those same methods to sell our product, which is information. So, let's adapt the tactics of this new advertising, which reduce the amount of just words," and started to use graphics, pictures, line drawings, to draw the eye in.
They also used catchy slogans, jingles, any of the advertisers’ methods to sell ideas and behaviors – basic concepts to keep people safe and healthy.
Between the public health authorities and the product advertisers, they did a pretty good job of getting the concept out there, that the basic cause of infectious diseases were these microbes.
This media revolution and consumer revolution occurred simultaneously with this scientific and public health revolution.
It develops in other countries as well, but the United States is really one of the great purveyors of this new kind of advertising designed to get people to buy products. So, advertising agencies, the beginnings of Madison Avenue, all date from the same decades that the germ theory was coming to be accepted.
By selling cleaning products, furniture, and toilets, advertisers helped make homes cleaner and moved the needle in improving public health -- all while making a buck.