Generic vs. brand-name pills: Research shows billions of dollars are wasted on over-the-counter medicine.
Registered nurses have more modest incomes than doctors, but are shown to be far more likely to buy generic pain relievers than other people with similar incomes. Most strikingly of all, professional pharmacists—the people who know which pills are which—are even less likely to buy name brand than are doctors and nurses. This all strongly suggests that rich people avoid generics not because the pills are inferior, or even because they’re showing off, but simply because they’re careless.
Nobody I know thinks advertising works on them or on anyone else. But it’s clear that even when marketers don’t have any meaningful information to convey about why you should buy their product, investments in branding nonetheless move purchasing decisions.