Three failed approaches to change the mindset of people

Changing the mindset of people about something they already have an opinion about is not easy; it takes lots of money and time. Even for some businesses their well studied advertisements do not help when they try to promote something new. In many cases, change might be almost impossible. Here are three different approaches to change the mindset of people. Unfortunately, none of these ways achieved its purpose.

I Promotion:

When Coca Cola reentered the Middle East back in the early 90s*, a story circulated among Jordanians. Coca Cola Jordan office wanted to promote their red product so they went to crowded neighborhoods and held very big events that included bands singing, giving prizes and what not. The Coca Cola press reporter was on the scene in one of these events interviewing people. He stopped a young man and asked him what he thinks about the event. The man answered “It is a lovely event. Some people came to our neighborhood, gave us red T-shirts, red bags, and even some people won red cars and we drank lots of Pepsi for free.”

II Time

I heard this story from my father. Back in the days in Jordan, there was no running water in villages. Mothers and daughters used to fetch water from a nearby well, lake or spring. Some boys used to go there as well to flirt with girls. One day, a teenage boy accidently farted in front of all the women. Everyone has heard the fart and started laughing at the young man. Since then the well was nicknamed Abu Thrat’s Well. The well took the new nickname of the boy which is ‘Farty.’ The young man felt ashamed of his new nickname and decided to travel away. Twenty years later he came back to his home town. He was so excited and happy to see his old village until he overheard a kid shouting to his peers “let’s go play near that old Abu thrat’s well.”

III Money

The Arabian Gulf countries especially Saudi Arabia and UAE spent billions of dollars to make their countries known not as just rich desert oil countries but as world leaders in tallest towers and luxurious hotels. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are competing against each others to become the Singapore of the business district and the Monaco of tourism (without the gambling) in the Middle East.

One very important reason the Arab Gulf countries are so adamant to prove themselves in any way is because they want to change the mindset of non-Arabs. Only the Arab countries refer to the gulf between the Arab Gulf countries and Iran as the Arabian Gulf. The rest of the worlds call it the Persian Gulf.

If you read the caption on the picture below you will see what I mean.

IMG_0289 IMG_0290
 No matter how much is being spent the world still calls it the Persian Gulf. [Click on picture to enlarge]

So, the question is why it is almost impossible to change the perception of people about an issue they already have an opinion about?

Do you know other stories in which people wouldn’t change their mindset or perception about something?


*”The Arab League boycotted Coca-Cola from August 1968 to May 1991, as part of the economic boycott of Israel.” [Source]

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6 thoughts on “Three failed approaches to change the mindset of people

  1. People always oppose new ideas, not just perceptions. As a mid-age programmer, do you remember when OOP came out? we all hate it, just because it’s new and we need to learn it!

  2. Yeah, it’s the Persian Gulf for me. Just learned it that way and it stuck. Sorry.

    “Do you know other stories in which people wouldn’t change their mindset or perception about something?”

    Of course! Israel is one of the biggest among people I know. And Muslims. And Obama. And Communists. And…I’m sure there are more, but it’s late (for me) and I can’t think of them right now.

    “*”The Arab League boycotted Coca-Cola from August 1968 to May 1991, as part of the economic boycott of Israel.” [Source]”

    So why did it end?

    Interesting post!

  3. Pepsi vs Coke has to do with the Arab boycott of Coca Cola. For a long time, Pepsi was the only brand name Arabs grew up with so even when they ask for a “cola” drink, they ask for Pepsi cola. Also, Pepsi in Jordan is slightly sweeter than Coke and has less fizz (carbonation) which is what the people are used to so Coca Cola is at a disadvantage from the start.

    1. I heard that Coca Cola in the Middle East doesn’t taste like the one in the US.
      For old Arab generation it is always going to be Pepsi.

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