April 17, 2024

Hurry! It’s On Sale!

Advertisers must think we’re really stupid. Have you paid any attention to what the ads on TV and radio are saying? If you’re like me, the commercial breaks go in one ear and out the other. The only way something sticks in my brain is because it’s repeated ten million times (which is why you hear the same ad played until you puke) or if there’s something unique about the way it is presented.

Victoria’s Secret TV ads come to mind. I remember them–frequently.

Lately in a period of vast boredom, I decided to actually LISTEN to some of the ads being thrown at me and pay attention to what they were saying. I was shocked to realize that what I’d been (half) listening to had been carefully crafted to sound serious and persuasive while making NO SENSE WHATSOEVER! Check out the following and see if some of this stuff doesn’t sound familiar. I’ll try to help you see it in a new light.

“NO REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE REFUSED!” Pardon me, but do you really think that if you spoke to a salesman and made him a reasonable offer, he’d refuse it? I can hear the exchange now. “Well, sir, what do you think of that wonderful item? I’m sure you agree you can’t afford to be without it! What’s that you say, sir? You want it? You want it now? You’ll pay cash for it and you want us to load it in your truck? Well, sir, allow me to say that you make an extremely reasonable offer, yet I am forced to refuse it. You can’t have this item because every once in a while we refuse a reasonable offer and it just so happens that your reasonable offer is the one we choose to refuse. I’m sorry, sir, there’s no recourse. You’ll just have to go buy it somewhere else. Good day, sir!”

Closely akin to “no reasonable offer refused” is “NOTHING HELD BACK!” Imagine the following exchange. “Yes, sir! Oh, sir, very good choice! You want the blue recliner on sale! What’s that? You don’t want the blue one, you want the maroon one? OH, SIR, I’m so sorry, but we’re HOLDING THAT ONE BACK! Yes, I know it’s the same recliner, just a different color. Sometimes we just have to hold something back and (unfortunately for you) that’s the very one. We’re SO sorry, sir, please come again!”

“INVENTORY REDUCTION SALE.” What the heck is the purpose of a sale if it’s not to reduce inventory? What kind of stupid thing is this?

“OUR FAMOUS ANNUAL SALE!” Oh, really? I live in Kentucky. I hear about Corn-Austin’s Famous Annual Sale. I’m sure it’s well famous around here.”

I’ll hop a plane to Los Angeles, run into the terminal and collar the first guy I see. “Hey, buddy,” I’d say. “Have you ever heard of Corn-Austin?”

“Why sure,” he’d reply. “They’re probably having their Famous Annual Sale right about now! Wow, how time flies! I sure wish I could get to Corn-Austin in Murray, Kentucky to cash in on their Famous Annual Sale! Dang! Won’t happen this year!”

“EVERYTHING MUST GO!” This is the sale where they station a big guy named “Bubba” at the exit door. Bubba’s job is to check you as you leave to make sure you’re buying enough stuff. It goes like this. “Okay, Mac, let’s see whatcha got. Only two items! Sorry, Bub. You gotta go back and get more stuff! Wasamatter, can’t you read? That sign over there says ‘Everything Must Go!’ Dat means you gotta do your part, so get back in there and shop some more! I’m gonna watch you all the way to the checkout. Don’t make me come over there!”

“QUANTITIES LIMITED!” Well, of course they’re limited! The next time something is on sale, go in and tell the clerk that you want a million of ’em. When the clerk looks at you as if you had Rice Krispies for brains, say, “Your ad didn’t say quantities limited, so I expect my order to be filled immediately!”

“GIVEAWAY PRICES!” Go to the store, get one of whatever is on sale and try to walk out the door with it. When the store security guys stop you get indignant. Demand to see the manager. Chew him out roundly explaining that they can’t have it both ways. If they advertise “giveaway prices,” how can they expect you to PAY for it? If you play this one properly, you can get worked up into a good chest-thumping snit and burn off a lot of those holiday calories, while having a lot of fun with it.

Gotta go. Shooters Supply is having an Inventory Reduction Sale and I don’t want to miss it!

See ya around,


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