The hook brings you back

The group Blues Traveler had a huge hit with a song called “Hook,” which intentionally says nothing of substance. The chorus is as follows:

“Because the hook brings you back
I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
The hook brings you back
On that you can rely”

The song is about their frustration with MTV or popular music which relies on a “hook” to grab your attention. A hook is a catchy riff, phrase or gimmick used by songwriters. The Blues Traveler song is a tongue-in-cheek criticism of the use of a “hook” while using one.

To me, this song is a metaphor for companies selling products harmful to people’s health. The “hook” is an addiction, that brings people back to buy more.

The vaping industry is repeating the successful sales model of selling smoking to kids and young adults to get them hooked. The tobacco industry knew dating back to 1964 that nicotine was addictive. So, they hid this fact as they added more nicotine. The subterfuge lasted until the mid-1990s when an insider blew the whistle. This was after eight tobacco CEOs sitting at a table in front of a Congressional Committee lied saying nicotine was not addictive. What is troubling about the vaping industry is they are selling these vapes as candy in all kinds of flavors.

An even more dramatic and traumatic sales job relates to the opioid pain killer business. These companies were not forthcoming about how addictive their product is. People have died and families have been ruined by this subterfuge. And, once again we have a heroin and worse drug addiction problem in America, as it is cheaper than the opioid product. Please strongly consider non-opioid painkillers if you have surgery or an injury, if permissible by doctor.

On a more widespread basis, food companies have asked their chemists to make their products more addictive. How? By adding more sugar to their products. The sweeter taste is more alluring and gets people to eat more and buy more. What is the harm in a little more sugar? The US is the most obese country in the world and kids are now getting adult diabetes, not just juvenile diabetes.

So, like catchy songs, these hooks are designed to sell lots of products to unsuspectingly addicted consumers. Please be mindful of when you buy to make sure you are not being reeled in.

9 thoughts on “The hook brings you back

  1. There are so many hidden tricks to make people consume more. It is scary. Meanwhile, most of us are aware of it. We need to look closer to what we buy and what we eat and drink. I am not using instant products and trying to make sure I know what I cook with or eat. We need to be careful not to become paranoid but we need to be more conscious about our consumer behavior and not believe the commercial.

    • Erika, it is scary. I think there are descending layers of awareness. The significant majority know ads and packaging are embellishing to sell. A smaller majority may know they are being spied on so targeted ads toward them are being used. Yet, I am not sure as many are aware of the lengths drug companies go to contort a problem into selling a daily lifetime medication or food companies sweeten or salt products to get you buy more. Or, that grocery store research places the higher margin products at the height of the average woman’s eye level or at the end of the aisle of where other products are sold.

      As we told are kids, people want your money, so they sell their wares by legimate, aggressive and even illegitimate means. So, we must be mindful of these efforts. Keith

      • I am sure that there is much more going on in the background to control our habits than we may imagine even though we are aware of it. Yes, that trick with locating food is not a secret anymore. Although they could never trick me since I always checked all items of the same kind for saving money and checking the quality… lol.
        The scary thing is when it comes to manipulated drugs or food to affect our health deliberately.
        Yes, Keith, mindfulness and a healthy sceptic mind is needed unfortunately!

    • Roger, so true. Even before social media and Google search trails, companies spied on their customers. I recall a retailer getting outed back in the 1990s for sending baby ads to a woman before she told her husband she was pregnant based on a few select purchases. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: I watched an interview with a vaping executive on CBS. Evasive would be a word that comes to mind. Making a profit over others’ addictions is a time-tested business model. Yet, there will be day of reckoning at some point as more data is revealed. Here is what I don’t like – selling flavored smoke inhalers to kids. Then, watching the amount of smoke that is exhaled, far more than from the average cigarette.

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