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Publisher's Summary

Foreword by Morgan Spurlock

From the best-selling author of Buyology comes a shocking insider’s look at how today’s global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate our minds, all in service of persuading us to buy.

Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. Here, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned dollars.

Picking up from where Vance Packard's best-selling classic, The Hidden Persuaders, left off more than half-a-century ago, Lindstrom reveals:

  • New findings that reveal how advertisers and marketers intentionally target children at an alarmingly young age – starting when they are still in the womb!
  • Shocking results of an fMRI study which uncovered what heterosexual men really think about when they see sexually provocative advertising (hint: it isn’t their girlfriends).
  • How marketers and retailers stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia over global contagions, extreme weather events, and food contamination scares.
  • The first ever neuroscientific evidence proving how addicted we all are to our iPhones and our Blackberry’s (and the shocking reality of cell phone addiction - it can be harder to shake than addictions to drugs and alcohol).
  • How companies of all stripes are secretly mining our digital footprints to uncover some of the most intimate details of our private lives, then using that information to target us with ads and offers "perfectly tailored" to our psychological profiles.
  • How certain companies, like the maker of one popular lip balm, purposely adjust their formulas in order to make their products chemically addictive.
  • What a 3-month long guerilla marketing experiment, conducted specifically for this book, tells us about the most powerful hidden persuader of them all.
  • And much more!

From the Hardcover edition.

©2011 Martin Lindstrom (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"I've only read two business books from cover to cover in the last five years: Buyology and Brandwashed. It is no coincidence that Martin Lindstrom is the author of both of those books. Brandwashed is smart, thought-provoking, and laugh out loud funny." (Steven Levitt, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and bestselling author of Freakonomics)
“If you buy products, you need to read this book. It's really that simple.” (Tom Rath, New York Times best-selling author of StrengthFinder 2.0 and How Full is Your Bucket)

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  • Doug
  • Austin, TX
  • 10-22-11

The Conspiracy Against Our Subconscious

Definitely buy the book. The author will even explain WHY you are reading through these recommendations right now and why it will make you more likely to buy his book. The author ignores the ancient plea to "PAY NO ATTENTION TO MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN." If you are craving to hear the details of genius-level strategies aimed at YOU....then here it is on a silver platter.

Although the author will literally spellbind you with 10 hours of addictive, yes addictive, facts about you and me as consumers...I believe you'll be surprised by your own reaction to this expose. I found myself feeling fascinated and delighted when the marketers got it right, even when I understood the invasive efforts they employed.

On accident, I believe this book behaves more as a journey to the center of the HUMAN PSYCHE. You ARE being studied. You will make trillions of decisions during your lifetime...only now, with the awesome powers of the 21st Century at hand, geniuses have planted a flag at each cross-road. To buy, or not to buy....THAT is truly the question.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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This is the One!

I've read/listened to numerous books on how psychology/neuroscience/triggers are used in marketing. I find the subject very interesting, but after so many books on the topic there was little new value for each additional book, and I started to get tired of books on the subject.

I bought Brandwashed and thought I would give it a shot and hoped to learn at least a little something. Man, was I wrong!

This book is a value bomb! By far the best I've come across on the subject. The author is in the game and very experienced. Throughout examples from research and his own real life experience he delivers knowledge and insights I haven't found elsewhere.

If you find this subject interesting, this is the Book with capital B.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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No Place to Run, No Place to Hide

Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom is a delightful, though disturbing, read. In this volume Lindstrom follows up on his Buyology to reveal how marketers are targeting US! (Surprise, surprise.) Apparently, Lindstrom leaves no stone unturned and there are surprises on every page. For example, what are the tricks that Whole Foods uses to make customers think items are fresh or organic. (Hint, apples over 12 months old may be sprayed with water.) Data mining allows retailers to alter music playing to agree with customer profiles in the store. Lindstrom supports his statements with fMRI evidence and other research that will enlighten. The most interesting chapters to me involved the use of data mining … there is a no place to run and no place to hide. Brandwashed is an intelligent, entertaining, informative read. The reading of Dan Woren is a plus.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick
  • ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
  • 02-15-12

Brillian book on Marketing!

Would you listen to Brandwashed again? Why?

Great book that explores the various tools and tricks marketers use to sell to us. Some of them actually scared me - marketing to unborn children?... WOW.<br/><br/>This is a true tour-de-force written in a brilliant maner. Simple to understand and easy to follow, without boring you to tears. Full of real life examples of how we are bering brainwashed by brands...

What does Dan Woren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great reader - keeps you wanting to listen more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating Collection of (What Should Be) Obvious

To be honest, I found little in this book to be truly surprising. Nevertheless, the author clearly hs the expertise and background to share concrete examples of marketing tactics. I found myself especially in awe of tactics used by Whole Foods, and smiled when reading about how clothing manufacturers continue to "grow" sizes to match our countries growing wasteline (most people are more likely to buy Brand X jeans that "fit them" then acknowledge that they're actually 4" bigger around the waste than they were in college). My only real complaint about the book is that- until the final paragraphs of the last chapter- it completely ignores any of the advantages and positive effects of targeted marketing (ie. the fact that I may discover, purchase, and improve my life by using a product that I might never had know existed).

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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content okay, nothing fabulously new. narrator eeh

content okay, nothing fabulously new. narrator not my style. could easily put me in a coma. I played the book on 1.5x just to get to the end.

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eye opening

makes you rethink so many aspects of every day life. I feel so manipulated......he we all are.

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Wow! What we didn't know even if we thought we were well informed

Any additional comments?

What an enlightening book! I had gone in thinking "Yeah, I know that we are all 'brandwashed'…", But I hadn't been aware of the extent as pointed out in this book. He used lots of examples and plain speech which could be applicable to many. A lot of his examples were not, specifically, applicable personally, but there was enough broad information that it was really powerful! And some of the information WAS quote applicable personally" (to re-quote myself :-)).<br/>There are hidden tips on things to avoid, and on motivations and expectations for the consumers related to credit cards, advertisements, loyalty programs, etc. It even went into the question of what data mining is done on customers.<br/>It was/is quite eye-opening!

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Mindblowing

One of the best books I've ever listened to, so insightful and in depth in how are purchasing behaviors are being monitored and controlled by the brands in some way or another. Dan Woren is also doing a great job of narrating the book!

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opened my eyes to the world of branding.

This was a very informative book in understanding the power of word of mouth marketing.