In a minute. Gimme a sec. Hang in there.Love it, don’t we? Waiting in queues, caught on the hop or just plain stalling, it’s a handy little tool to get us out of those tight situations that require an instant decision.Time is our most precious commodity. We cannot manufacture more of it although we can buy it to a certain extent until the supply runs out. So it’s only natural that we should be very protective of it and in doing so resort to all sorts of excuses to utilise it in the way that suits us best.
What is it that makes us pick up the phone even though we’re in an important meeting or conversation? Engaging in social media on our smartphones while we’re surrounded by people in a subway?
A better offer. The thought that we might miss out on something always motivates us to know what we’re included in, perhaps a facet of ‘herd mentality’ that is closely linked to a sense of identity.
‘For a limited time only’ works very well for advertisers and making customers feel ‘special’ seems to open wallets more easily.
Admittedly we need to keep abreast of what’s out there but we have become so conditioned by consumerism that everything has to be either new, improved or the latest model.
Lifecycles of products become ever shorter and inbuilt obsolescence ensures that the wheels of commerce are well lubricated. Like kids in a candy store, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs so hire purchase and credit organisations fill the gap.
We have a deep-seated fear of being ostracised from the herd and losing the protection of ‘safety in numbers’. Modern advertising is well aware of this and plays on this weakness by making us feel that we’re ‘missing out’ by not making the purchase. Fear of loss and failure.
The moment a butterfly is captured is the moment it loses its freedom. Satisfying desire through consumption means we lose our freedom by becoming a slave to Desire and a sucker for sellers.
The fact that people love to buy but hate being sold to has seen the ‘better offer’ dressed as a lamb with the wolf lurking within. ‘Caveat emptor’ takes on a new cogency when dealing with no deposit, no repayments for two years when the newest model is being released in twelve months.
That ‘better offer’ may well be ‘better off without it’.