Monday, February 29, 2016

Appeal to the Bandwagon Fallacy

This fallacy occurs when a volume of people take evidence and use it as a fact, based on insignificant allure to its popularity. The appeal to bandwagon fallacy, also known as the appeal to the people fallacy, is used to persuade others into accepting what is popular.

Everyone I know is voting for Damien, so it's obvious he'll be the greatest president. 

Buying iPhones (idea A) is popular, therefore A is the truth and is a fact.

Advertising is a contemporary example of this fallacy. When a company or product claims to be "the #1 product" or "highest selling" in that industry and uses those "facts" to tell us the consumers to buy the product it is completing the fallacy. Advertising sends consistent messages to "buy this to be happy, fun, cool, popular," How many commercials do you watch and not know what the product is until the end? Today's advertisements focus on the present and rarely (if ever) look at the future or the past. Advertisements give us the illusion that we can buy happiness and companionship. In reality, they're falsely claiming that their product can bring you these intangible experiences and human desires. Years ago, advertisements focused on the facts and actual qualities of the products rather than the potential outcomes for the buyer.

Those marketing the product will argue it is popular to most, so you should use it too, because it is the best. Not because of what makes it the best. They are only drawing attention to its popularity and not the actual measure of how useful the product is.

1 comment:

  1. The bandwagon fallacy is a very interesting topic to think about; especially when you consider the affects social media has had on it. Now with social media brands can create the illusion that everyone is using their product. If brand “What a Waist!” has Kim Kardashian and other various popular Instagram users post a photo talking about their product- it flies off of the shelves. Creating ad campaigns using social media personalities is brilliant because soon other users will post their photos with the ‘magical product’ as well. The same can be said for products that are produced to be sold out. Some manufactures under produce their product so that they can say “It sold out in two minutes!” making it seem more desirable and that everyone wants it.
    Another example of how this fallacy appears in our daily lives is on Facebook. Facebook’s algorithm shows us personalized media that was tailored for our likes, dislikes, and various interests. These advertisements on Facebook are designed around this fallacy. If you were searching the web for espresso makers, soon images of people smiling and laughing with their cups of coffee and Amazon advertisements appear before you- subliminally encouraging the purchase.
    An example of the bandwagon fallacy, in regards to advertising is ‘Trending Topics’. If a person were to get on Twitter and see the trending topics of celebrity gossip, news, sports, and white Vans shoes, they will remember that everyone has been talking about them. When seeing white Vans in a store, they will recall all of the posts of everyone wearing them and think more highly of them because of it.
    It’s no surprise that companies are taking advantage of social media to promote their products. Young people avidly use sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook multiple times a day. By creating a Bandwagon fallacy that all of their friends and idols are using a particular product- and that they need it- they may be very tempted to purchase simply because of what they had seen.