Chris Brogan wonders if “America’s Favorite!” or “#1 Brand!” on canned products actually influences our grocery shopping decisions.

I’ll flatly assert, yes.

Both messages are indicators of “Social Proof”, one of the ‘big six’ influencers on behavior according to research done by social psychologist Robert Cialdini. [you’ll love reading each of his books, like so many others have] Are the can designs ugly? Yes. Effective? Probably. Who knows for sure? The can makers.

It’s easy to identify when a design decision rubs your aesthetic sense wrong, but that is by no means a measurement of its effectiveness. Cockroaches hold the simultaneous honor of being one of the most effective, and ugliest creatures that nature has ever produced.

So don’t knock the schlock!