King of propaganda

In a surprising twist, bacon for breakfast wasn't always a given.

Back in the 1920s, the Beech-Nut Packing Company faced a challenge: how to boost bacon sales.

Their solution? Enlist the expertise of Edward Bernays.

Bernays, often hailed as the "father of public relations," possessed a captivating persona.

As the nephew of Sigmund Freud, he revolutionized marketing by integrating psychological insights into various campaigns, spanning from governmental propaganda to promoting Lucky Strike cigarettes.

When confronted with the task of popularizing bacon for breakfast, Bernays saw an untapped opportunity.


A Breakfast Revolution

At the dawn of the 20th century, Americans typically indulged in a light morning meal consisting of coffee, a roll, or perhaps some cereal.

Bernays, with his penchant for innovation, consulted the resident doctor at his PR agency (yes, they had one).

His query: Would a heartier breakfast be more beneficial for one's health?

The doctor's response was affirmative – asserting that a substantial morning meal could provide a much-needed energy boost.

Empowered by this endorsement, Bernays orchestrated a survey, reaching out to 5,000 physicians for their opinions.

Astonishingly, over 4,500 respondents concurred with the notion.

Armed with compelling data, Bernays crafted a narrative to pitch.

Newspaper headlines blared: "4,500 Physicians Advocate Hearty Breakfasts for Better Health." Many of these articles extolled the virtues of bacon and eggs as the quintessential morning fare.

Bernays Unveils his Bacon Breakfast Strategy

While modern PR agencies might lack in-house medical expertise, Bernays' approach offers enduring marketing wisdom. Instead of directly peddling his product, he leveraged the authority of trusted experts to convey his message. By highlighting a perceived issue among consumers, he gently guided them towards his product as a solution.

Today, bacon reigns supreme at breakfast tables, with 70 percent of consumption occurring in the morning. The bacon and eggs duo has become an emblematic American tradition, all thanks to the ingenuity of Edward Bernays.