I'm Just Saying…

January 22, 2013

Friends, Romans, Cherished Patrons…

I recently received a postcard from a well-known cosmetics company. I purchase products online from this company several times a year. Some people stock up on bottled water and canned goods, I buy my moisturizer in bulk. To each his own. The postcard announced “For a Limited Time Only. 20% Off For Our Cherished Patrons.”

 
Cherished?

 
I am cherished by my health and beauty vendor?

 
Let’s look up the definition of cherished, shall we?

 
cher•ish (chěr’ish) v. 1. To hold dear. 2. To keep fondly in mind.

 
So…we’re saying my provider of facial balms and ablutions holds me so dear they wanted to do something special for me. In fact, I’m held so dearly and so fondly, they’re not doing this for everyone, just “cherished” ones such as myself.

 
That can’t be right. Let’s try this again.

 
The cosmetics company reviewed my buying history. They figured a vacuous platitude and a few bucks off might induce me to make one last purchase before putting 2012 to bed.

 
They were right. I did buy more cosmetics but I must tell you, my purchase was mingled with the bitter taste of cynicism.

 
Cherished Patron????

 
In the 1700’s, our venerable forefather, Benjamin Franklin, dubbed “the patron saint of advertising,” could not have imagined the monster he was creating. Franklin used his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, to advertise goods and products. This included his own ad warning people to choose his stove versus “Brand X,” lest they suffer untold physical consequences. Way to go Ben.

 
I know life is not easy for the Don Drapers of this world. It’s tough to convince people to buy something they probably don’t need and they’re not sure they even want. Unless you’re peddling Apple’s i-products or a BMW, you have a hard day’s work ahead of you my friend. I also know that truth in advertising is an oxymoron (see previous paragraph). However, it’s time to put the personal touch in product and service hawking to bed. What would happen if some of today’s advertising ploys were actually true?

 
Welcome Home…

 
The first one is restaurants wanting you to feel at home. You’re with family. Lovely. If that were actually true, I would show up two to three nights a week, unannounced of course, eat as much as I want, take home enough for my own bacchanal, and leave without paying. They frown on that. Obviously, I am not family.

 
Suggested slogan: We’re glad you’re here. But you still have to pay and we practice portion control.

 
Let’s have a relationship.

 
Remember when banks were vying for your business by trying to be your friend? You’re not a customer. Your bank is not some cold, megalomaniacal corporate entity. No, you and your bank are “connected.” You are simpatico with your financial lending institution. You have established a relationship. Excellent. In lieu of that, my bank should loan me money with no questions and no interest. Repayment schedules should be at my discretion, which could be…whenever. Also off the table are returned check fees and poor credit rating notices. I’ll still take the calendars and the free toaster. Thanks, man. You’re the best.

 
Suggested slogan: We’re your neighborhood bank. We’re here to help. Maybe. Fill out the application and we’ll see.

 
Be Our Guest….

 
Some people enjoy shopping for a new car. I equate the car shopping experience with removal of an ingrown toenail.
The last time I entered a showroom, the sales professional asked for my name.

 
“Why?” I asked.

 
“We like to keep a record of our guests.”

 
Guests? Guests? I bit my tongue. Where to begin? Do you want to take my coat? Is there a powder room where I can freshen up? Where are the hors d’oeuvres? What? No appetizers? I’m not getting lobster ravioli with my two door hatchback with all wheel drive and air conditioning? Since I don’t hear any music and I don’t see the other “guests” kickin’ it on a dance floor, I assume this isn’t a party and I’m not your guest. So it really is a showroom where you expect to “up your commission” since I’m a woman buying a car on her own. I’m just saying.

 
We’re in the twenty-first century. Why hasn’t human kind evolved to the point of telling the simple truth? Instead, we play this round robin game of vendors professing their devotion to us and we lap it up. Have we no self-respect, no principles? If that cosmetics company tries again, will I fall for the “cherished patron” and 20% off routine? Hah!… only if they throw in free shipping… you can’t beat free shipping. I’m just saying.

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