37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Monday, June 21, 2004

I want, I want, I want

I am a perfect commercial audience. I see something that looks cool and I want it. And it doesn't even have to be useful or necessary; as long as it looks good, I'll buy it.

Case in point: Soleil razors. They come in pretty colors. They come in easy open packages of four. They simply LOOK like something no woman should be without. The reality? They're razors. They do the same thing all razors do: cut off leg and armpit hair. Now...let's look at the marketing that sucked me in.

Generic razors are 10 for a dollar on that particular day. Soleil razors are four for a dollar. IF and only IF you have the special 2.00 off coupon. I do happen to have the coupon. The razors look so pretty in the bright package. I know I should get the cheaper product. I know it will work just as well as the more expensive product. Do I care? ABSOFRICKINLUTELY NOT. I have been seduced by color, shape and advertising. And the horrid part is that I already know that before I even get to the checkout stand.

Then there are wants that -might- be good if I can find the right justification. The garden springs instantly to mind. There are a million things I want to do with the yard if I only have the time and money. To be honest, if it weren't for the time factor, I'd be spending a lot more money at the nursery than I currently do.

So what about food? We have to eat, right? But do we have to eat in the quantity I buy? I currently have an obsession with buying food. You'd think I had been raised during the depression. I appear to be hoarding food. I have no idea why, but it may have something to do with quitting smoking. I have read that people tend to find another obsessive behaviour to replace the smoking with, even if they are fighting it and especially when they don't realize that they are doing it. The result? I've spent several hundred dollars at the grocery on food that will sit in the freezer. Well, actually, it won't sit in the freezer for much longer. I got the serious hairy eyeball from my husband and this is one consumptive behaviour that will be coming to a close in short order.

Children's consumer behaviour is even more interesting. Kids literally don't know they want something until they see it on television. They don't even know that it exists. Then suddenly, they declare that the world will come to a screeching halt if they do not receive a Mega Blaster Sure Shot Laser Tag Water Gun (with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time, my apologies to Jean Shepherd) RIGHT NOW. And they want either the Spongebob version or the Barbie version, and nothing else will do, so generic stuff is out of the question. You might think that if you simply say NO in a firm voice and then drop the subject they will forget about it, but you would be living in a deluded fantasy world. There is a solution to this catch-22: let them watch more television.

Yes, you heard correctly. Let them rot their brains in front of the telly. That product that you just said NO to will stick in their minds only until the next cooler commercial. Then it will be another product and another NO. Then another commercial will strike their fancy. If you play your cards right, you could telly ad finesse youself right into the late teen years. Then you'll just have to pray that they were paying attention during the condom commercials.

I believe I was saying something about being the perfect commercial audience? I'll tell you, some of those condom packages are downright sexy. I don't need to buy any, but still...I have a coupon...and the box is such a pretty color...and the picture is Did I mention sexy? I vaguely remember something someone once said about sex selling stuff. Hmmm. I'll look that up when I get back from the mall.


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