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  • Writer's pictureLeo

The Aristaeus Drive: You Ad What You Eat

We're finally moving away from Freud and into more evolutionary than psychological territory.

Aristaeus is the Greek god of beekeeping, cheesemaking, and olives. As such, I thought he would be the best choice to name the drive for eating.

Selling food should be a piece of cake, right? People need food to live, after all.

It's easy to think of hunger and satiety as a purely primal drive that can be as simplified as: "When someone's stomach rumbles, they put things in it."

But there are so many amazing factors to consider with hunger and how to market food to varying demographics. One interesting universal for humans is color: we evolved to pay close attention to the colors of fruits. Think of your favorite fruit. It's probably either red or very dark purple, yes? There's a small chance its dark orange or light green.

It almost certainly is not pale orange or yellow or white or dark green. Those fruits market (yes, the first advertisers were from nature, not civilization) to birds, because they want birds to ingest them and pass their seeds...those colored fruits are usually poisonous to humans and other mammals.

In short, we like dark red and purple because of the original advertisers: the trees who wanted us to eat their fruits and pass their seeds in strategic places that mammals frequent. Similarly, you may notice fruits in ads are always wet. Humans gathered fruits since time immemorial in the dewy early hours to avoid being seen by predators, so the sight of a water-misted apple is more appealing than a dry one.

The use of color and symmetry (which always illustrates health) is the first thing to consider when marketing food.

Lastly, it is vital to differentiate hunger from appetite. Hunger is a need. A starving person will anything. When you are hungry and smell steak, it is maddening. When you are full and smell it, it can be sickening. Marketing isn't for hungry people, It is for people who desire certain things and then consider those things when they become hungry people.

Krispy Kreme doesn't sell you donuts. They sell you the idea of that neon light signifying a fresh, saccharin treat. It can be shown to a full, uninterested person, who at a much later date may see that light flip on and pull in.

The neon light does what trees have been doing for centuries...conveying information with colors and shapes. Remember...our appetites are far older than language. The language of the Aristaeus drive is the language of trees and birds and squirrels.

Next week: The Enyo and Phobos Drives.

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