Tom Joad's Place

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Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Monday, July 11, 2005

Promotions and consumerism

I noticed a couple of things over the weekend.

1. There are an awful lot of car companies that are doing "Pay What Our Employees Pay" promotions. I must have seen 3-4 car companies that are doing these type of come-ons. Now I don't have a problem with them doing this. I'm just wondering why did this start all of a sudden? Was there a federal law that said they couldn't give employee prices before? Or is this just another "Monkey See, Monkey Do" phenomenon?

2. There are some BRILLIANT advertising schemes going on that focuses on people buying mass quantities of a product and not really getting anything for it. The internet(s) put a whole new spin on "Instant Win" games offered by companies looking for people to buy their candy, soda, fast food, etc.

Before you would literally win under the cap or in the wrapper. But today the little waltz that the consumers and companies play goes something like this. Open the package...look for a "special code"...go to the internet(s)...register at their website...type in the or possibly lose.

The beauty of this is that you normally get to only step two of that scenario...people rarely go to the internet(s) to punch in their code. The companies are taking into consideration the laziness of the American public and it's working.

I've seen it in action at school. Kids will buy the product excited at their chance to win but they quickly forget and toss the bottle or wrapper away. I just shake my head in disbelief at the attention span of my students but they're still cool with me.

I wonder what the percentage of people actually using their codes and actually winning are? It's probably very where's that Coke cap?

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