A few weeks ago, I read the circular for Best Buy, and they were announcing they were selling “back to school” stuff. For some reason, a big screen tv seemed to be one of the important things they felt people would need as part of back to school. The ad on the back page advertised Best Buy as the “techfitter” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and that this was important for back to school. All I kept thinking was “I have never been in a school where I needed a big screen tv for any rhyme or reason”.
Fast forward to the next few weeks, and the ads have been advertising nothing but the need for a big screen television for the “big game”. Two weeks in a row. And it shows football players on the screen doing whatever it is that football players do. And all I could think to myself was, “well, if I bought a big screen television because I needed it to go back to school” why the hell are you advertising one for me to watch the big game? Am I only allowed to watch the back to school big screen TV when I’m working on school stuff, but if I’m planning to watch “the big game”, I have to get a specially bought big screen TV from Best Buy that just lets me watch “the big game”? Next week, will there be a big screen television set for me to watch old episodes of Rosanne, and then the week after that a new set to watch the “new” season of television that will be airing for the new fall season? Do you kind of get my point here?
I’m a huge advocate of discontinuing the hype of advertisement that so many companies do. I used to love it when a company sent me a flyer advertising good prices. But that was before those companies started adding “buy this now before this price is gone” to the wording. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but everything seems like it’s a crisis when it comes to sales and prices. You don’t have a discount sale any more. You have a “blow out sale!”. Offers are going to disappear if you don’t act now, and I mean FREAKING NOW!!!!!!! Because there’s no way in the world that that discounted television that they dropped ten dollars off the price will EVER POSSIBLY comes down ten dollars again, and you will completely missed out on the one chance of your freaking lifetime!
It’s to the point where every time I go to a store, I’m expecting to have a stroke because the pressure is on to make sure that I act right then and there, because if I don’t, Jack Bauer isn’t going to be there in time to diffuse the bomb from going off. I was playing an online game the other day, and an ad came over the interface, telling me that if I didn’t upgrade my account right then and there, I would lose the opportunity to play the great content that was obviously right there in front of me if I only acted fast enough. I signed out of the game, deleted it from my hard drive and will probably never take advantage of that game again. I mean, honestly, the pressure is too heavy on me to have to do the right thing at the right time, and if I don’t play it, and maybe read a book, that pressure seems to be a lot less pressing.
As I started to pay closer attention to this stuff, I started to realize that there were a lot of products I’ve bought over the years that I don’t need to buy again, or don’t need to upgrade. I’ll be honest. When the Best Buy ads started playing into my subconscious, I actually started thinking that my 32 inch television wasn’t big enough, that I might need to upgrade to a 55 or 60 inch television. And then it dawned on me. I never watch my television. Like ever. I’ll play a Blu-ray on it, and I might watch Netflix stuff on it every now and then, but mostly I tend to watch shows on my computer, which has a 27 inch screen, and I’ve never had a reason to complain that it was too small. I don’t ever watch “the game”, so I don’t care one iota for seeing “the game” when it comes across the screen. I don’t even know when it airs, other than a faint memory of Monday because of the old reference of Monday Night Football. I can’t even tell you if that’s still the night, or even what station that used to represent.
What I have started doing, and I wish more people would do it as well, is to stop buying things from companies that try to convince me there’s a hurry for me to purchase their junk. Purchasing should be a well thought out course where you’ve considered all of the alternatives and whether or not you need the item. We’ve come a long way from those days, and I feel that way too many of us do most of our shopping in the quick lane aisle, buying things placed in that aisle for us to foolishly think how convenient it might be to buy that.