Like a Raisin in the Sun

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Just grapes and sunshine–that’s all that Sunmaid Raisins claim go into their humble boxes of dried fruit. This declaration comes at the end of their advertisement, after insinuating that eating raisins will also make you a celebrity, just like all the fit and healthy Hollywood locals. This is called lifestyle advertising, a more recent trend in marketing. Rather than make claims about a product’s attributes like traditional advertisements, marketing companies focus on how the product will change your life or make you feel. Watching this advertisement for raisins, I couldn’t help but notice how raisins had nothing to do with Hollywood or being a celebrity. And yet, if lifestyle advertising were not effective, then it wouldn’t be such a trusted method for increasing sales and gaining brand loyalty. With this kind of advertising, the efficacy of a product is no longer the concern of the consumer. In fact, they just might believe that their boxes of raisins were collected by fit people in Hollywood after grapes fell from trees and dried on the ground. In reality, the arid climate of California has been painstakingly adapted to grow grape trees. Workers in heavy uniforms walk the fields in the heat turning sheets of grapes all day long. If consumers knew the conditions in which their raisins were produced, they may find them less than appetizing. So, Sunmaid makes up a narrative to amp up the appeal of their dull dried fruit and hopefully divert attention away from all the things besides “grapes and sunshine” that go into making a box of raisins.

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