Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SuBtle Plugs

I really don't like pushy sales people. I really don't like being bullied and sometimes, in order to make a sale, folks will try to run roughshod over you. My first encounter with "high pressure" sales pitches was when I was eighteen. I had just started working, was living on my own, and was enjoying being "footloose and fancy free". My experience with door to door salesmen had been very limited up to this point. I'll admit, I was completely taken in by his dazzling smile, flattering ways and "hocus pocus". Before I knew it, I had signed an automatic bank order for a 12 place setting dinner service. It was beautiful. There were serving dishes, serving platters, and the all important gravy boat. The plates were near indestructible and the glasses elegant. The problem with "Hocus Pocus", as with any "spell", it's hold lasts only as long as the "caster" is there. Sure enough, after the gentleman left, my faculties slowly returned to me. What on earth am I going to do with a dinner service that would take me two years to pay off? Naturally, I did what any self-respecting, strong, independent, single woman would do. I called my mom. She very graciously agreed to phone the company and cancel my order. The lesson I learnt from that experience, beware charming men with dazzling smiles, and truly NEVER open your door to strangers. Since then, I've followed my mother's words of wisdom: Just say no. Some folks are really determined. Or maybe just hard of hearing. Those situations require incessant use of the word "no!". As in, "nonononononoNOOOOOOOO!"

Once I moved to the US, I had to really step up my game. Here, they have people who phone you all the time trying to get you to buy stuff or change stuff or upgrade. Thank God for the shelter of the "Do Not Call List". Being rude to folks isn't something that comes naturally to me, and most of the time I am able to convince folks to leave me be, before having to resort to hanging up on them mid-pitch.

Now companies have changed their strategy yet again. Now they're using our TV's. Yes, I'm aware that commercials have been with us since the beginning of visual medium, but these aren't your "typical" advertisements. These are cleverly placed products on set of our favorite shows. Car companies really seem to be stepping it up, with shows like the Closer, Burn Notice, Suits to mention a few, cutting away from relevant dialogue to point out Ford's latest feature or Hyundai's latest gizmo. Regardless of having a DVR that I use to skip through the majority of ad pitches, here, smack bang in the middle of my favorite serial drama, I have a not so suBtle advertisement. That's not even talking about the other little things like soups, clothes, cereals, TV's, appliances and so on and so forth. I understand that marketers sole job is to make me want their product. But, seriously? Is there no respite from their relentless bombardment? One would think with the amount of advertisements they cram in between scenes, they wouldn't have to find additional ways to ply their wares.

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