But I Need This, Don’t I?

Why do we do things we don’t want or shouldn’t? I’ll tell you why. We’ve been brainwashed, that’s why. Like some spy movie, we have had our minds altered by the nefarious villain. Our will has been sapped and manipulated by the evil forces of the enemy. They know us. They watch us. They control us like a puppet on a string. Who is this enemy? Is it Big Brother? Is it Kaos? Is it Spectre? No…it’s marketing companies.

Haven’t you found yourself buying something that you felt you had to have, despite the fact that—until the moment you got it—you never even knew you needed it? How do you think that happens? You watch TV. You read books. You surf the internet. Companies that make products have a simple mission: to sell their stuff. They don’t really care who buys it, as long as someone buys it. But those companies don’t know how to sell it to the masses. They hire people, or outsource to a firm, that specialize in convincing other people to part with their money.

I got a phone call from a company the other day that wanted to know if I would like to participate in a key contest where they would send me a car key and if it fit the lock of a Ford Ranger, I got to keep the truck. I said “Sure, why not?” If I don’t want the truck, I still get $10k cash (before taxes). No reason to pass up a chance at free money. Besides, I also will definitely win either a 300 bucks, a dream vacation, a flat screen TV, or a shopping spree (or some such nonsense). When I bought a car several years ago, the ad I took into the dealership had a similar consolation prize. I would win either a TV, 1000 bucks, a home entertainment system or a basketball. My son said that with my luck, it would be a flat basketball. I won the basketball. It was not pre-inflated.

So, I get this key in the mail. The company calls me to ensure that I got the key and set up an appointment for me to try it out. Now, I have had telemarketers call and give me the cue-card spiel, but never have they send a key in a hand-written envelope and made several calls to get me to listen to the spiel. I am somewhat suspicious of the whole thing, but now I am curious enough to go. And maybe that’s just what they expect me to do. Maybe I’m playing right into their evil clutches.

Their plan may be to lure me in with the promise of riches (ok 10k isn’t riches, per se; but it is money after all) then they spring the trap. Perhaps it will be a time-share, or maybe an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a real estate investment firm, or I may have a chance to start my own business with only a modest initial investment. Then again, it could be legit. It could be a company trying to get the word out of their new store and this is just a contest to build name recognition.

I hope so. I don’t need more stuff that I don’t need. Our house is too full of stuff we don’t use to go out getting more of it just because some marketing firm made me think I needed it. That is the scheme, you know. They use imagery of beautiful people (who remind us a lot of ourselves—in a deluded way) using their product to make us want to be those beautiful people using the product. That creates a “need” where one did not exist before. These firms have employed doctors and behavioral scientists to figure out the best way to get into our heads.

I guess the best way for me in this case is a chance at a free truck or cash. I’ll let you know what happens.


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Filed under Humor, Media, Society

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