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Crazy Advertising
Old 11-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Crazy Advertising

The most recent advertising variants are examples of creative minds going off the deep end.
If you have never read sale ads for Kohls, Carsons JCPenney and the like, this won't mean much to you, but if you HAVE read the fine print, you'll know what I mean. $50 off purchases of $200, or $10 off on orders of $25 could leave you surprised at the check out. This week, on one coupon, there were 26 "excluded" brands and departments.
Customer "loyalty" cards or propritary credit cards, "free" stuff (if you buy one at regular price), $1 rebate coupons (that require $.65 postange envelope and handling), and things like a "free" appetizer with two $15 meals, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Last week, at our local subermarket, hamburger helper was on sale for $1/box. (you can tell how frugal we are...) This week there's a "special sale" on the same item.... $1 each when you buy 10 boxes.

There are umpteen hundred websites, maintained by frugal housewives and "sale" experts that offer coupons, and follow sales and special offers... and places like Groupon that are guaranteed to save us money, and there are stickers and popouts at the gas pump that promse $.10/gallon savings if you sign up for their credit card...

Does anyone have a handle on the total cost of advertising in the US? What does that work out to on a "per citizen" basis?

It's not going away, and based on our rush to social networking and the new opportunities to "help us buy"... it appears that advertising will increase, before it declines.

I've developed an immunity to crazy advertising. How about you?
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
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If I responded to all the "special offers" that I receive, I would be spending at least twice as much as I do. Remember, it's only a bargain if you need it.

One loyalty card that I have maintained for years is The Body Shop. The last time I shopped there (in Alberta, where there is no provincial sales tax) it was my birthday month, which meant discounts, and there were all sorts of three for two, five for three offers. My 10% discount was on top of that. I only bought the products I wanted but I got quite a haul for $40.

I hate junk mail and put it immediately in the recycling bin. But last week there was a deal at my local drugstore with four coupons for dental products that I was planning to stock up on anyway. Well, it turned out that I had to make each one a separate purchase. Luckily both the clerk and I had the time to do that. I paid cash to make her job easier.

What maddens me is the offers that don't live up to their name or add conditions that it's difficult impossible to fulfill. For example, $1000 off a cruise turns out to be only on a date in hurricane season, double occupancy, from a port that requires an expensive airline ticket.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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I'm also a hater of rebates. Really? Fill out all this stuff, make sure you include exactly what they want, put a stamp on it, mail it off, and wait for some envelope with a nondescript appearance that I suspect they hope you'll throw away with ALL THE OTHER JUNK MAIL. That's why I don't make purchase decisions with rebates unless we're talkin' $50 or more.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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I've developed an immunity to crazy advertising. How about you?
Me too. It does my head in, so I don't participate.

The way that the major chain grocery stores are constantly putting things on, and taking them off, sale was driving me nuts - until I started doing most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, who don't stage all these nutty sales. Everything is priced at the regular prices, every single day. It's possible that I could save money by "playing the game" at the regular markets, but the money I'll save vs the effort I'll put in is not worth it to me. I enjoy my trips to Trader Joe's, and never enjoyed going to the major chain markets, so whatever small premium I pay represents great value to me.

A lot of deals I see online, such as Groupons and the other advertised deals, are usually for things I wouldn't otherwise have purchased, so they are not going to save me money.

"Century Of The Self" is an interesting multi-part BBC documentary that deals with how our modern consumer culture was created, and what a pivotal part the development of advertising played. Last time I checked, it was available on YouTube (naughty copyright violation) but you need to watch it from the very beginning. In my opinion, the beginning is the most interesting part, as it illustrates the big change in lifestyles from the beginning of the 20th century when advertising was mainly informational, and people bought only what they needed, to the situation just a few decades later, when newly-discovered methods of advertising appealed to the inner psyche of the new and burgeoning middle class, promising to satiate their deepest desires in return for a little of their hard-earned cash.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #5
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If I responded to all the "special offers" that I receive, I would be spending at least twice as much as I do. Remember, it's only a bargain if you need it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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The ads that annoy me the most are the ones for drugs and medical treatments.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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The ads that annoy me the most are the ones for drugs and medical treatments.
I hate most ads, but I really despise the Mucinex commercials that come on while I'm munching on dinner in front of the TV...
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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I've developed an immunity to crazy advertising. How about you?
Absolutely- I'm completely desensitized to it. I think I take the fun out of it for the rest of my family too when we're watching TV or listening to the radio. I now ignore the main message and literally only look for the small print at the bottom and listen for the disclaimers at the end. So after the commercial or radio ad, if anyone says, "hey that sounds like a good deal" I'll throw cold water on the whole thing and explain why it's all crap. I think it's actually pretty important for my kids to learn all the gimmicks early on.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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The ads that annoy me the most are the ones for drugs and medical treatments.
So if you want to get back to enjoying your life, take Praxi-live-it!

May cause dizziness, feelings of confusion, internal bleeding, loss of feeling in your face or bone deterioration. Consult your doctor before taking Praxi-live-it, because it may result in unexpected weight gain, brain damage, loss of urinary control or sexual dysfunction.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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Not much for rebates but I doo love credit card bonus offers. Really must be my mother's son - she piled up toasters, I take cash. Over the last couple years we have taken ~$4000 just in new card bonus offers. I may not maximize those offers - I don't turn many of them into air miles or credits at different stores, though I did fly my brother down to visit and I have used points with Amazon.

Just tickles me to meet the required minumum spending amount to get the bonus by paying for insurance or water bills or dental work - and then to get an effective discount on amounts I would have to spend anyway. As soon as I meet the required spend ($3000 to get $500 or $1000 to get $400 - that kind of offer) I go back to the old faithful Fidelity card and content myself with 2% cash back on that.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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Regardless the what would be the advertised savings, I save far more than 100%.

First I ignore all ads.
Second, even if I saw the ad in passing, by not considering the ad and definitely not traveling or spending time to buy the stuff, I am way ahead with not buying whatever it is.

The piece of mind achieved by ignoring ads: priceless.

OTOH if I actually need something then I will spend some time figuring out the lowest cost method of acquiring the stuff.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #12
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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ls99, the mental tranquillity caused by ignoring ads is priceless! However, I do keep a mental list of things I am going to need to buy in the near future. If I see those brand names on sale, it is a trigger to investigate. This works best when I am not bombarded by multiple conflicting ads. For example, the pages and pages of flyers from big box stores are just too overwhelming. They go straight to the recycling bin. I wish I could stop them completely.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Not much for rebates but I doo love credit card bonus offers. Really must be my mother's son - she piled up toasters, I take cash. Over the last couple years we have taken ~$4000 just in new card bonus offers. I may not maximize those offers - I don't turn many of them into air miles or credits at different stores, though I did fly my brother down to visit and I have used points with Amazon. Just tickles me to meet the required minumum spending amount to get the bonus by paying for insurance or water bills or dental work - and then to get an effective discount on amounts I would have to spend anyway. As soon as I meet the required spend ($3000 to get $500 or $1000 to get $400 - that kind of offer) I go back to the old faithful Fidelity card and content myself with 2% cash back on that.
I agree, Calmloki. It is amazing how much money you can accumulate with just discretionary spending use of the cash back card. I usually am not am impulse buyer and buy what I need. Any time I can, I go through the chase ultimate mall to get bonus cash for purchases as it then redirects you to the companies website. It starts to add up, I just redeemed $700 in cash this week.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
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I don't know about "crazy advertising" for clothes, apparel, furniture, or appliances, as our mind turns completely oblivious to things that we receive in the mail or see on the computer screen if we are not in the market for these things.

However, as the OP mentioned grocery ads, I must say here that I see absolutely nothing wrong with them.

As newspaper readership declines, nearly all grocery chains here are paying to get their flyers into people's mailboxes. There's a local chain that has excellent prices on produce and fruits, and my wife always on the lookout for them. Yes, you have to buy certain things on certain days of the week, but as the place is only a few miles from home, it's not bad.

Here's the kind of prices they have. No coupons needed. Bosch pears: 3lbs for 99c, Gala apples: 3 lbs/99c, Tomatoes: 3lbs/99c, Pineapple: 4lbs/99c, Raspberry or Black Berry: 6oz/88c, etc...

How do they make any money? How much is the cost for advertising? I do not know, but this is one of the advantages of living in the 'burb of a metropolitan area, compared to what is available up in my other boonies place. We'd be crazy not to take advantage of it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:40 PM   #16
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Here's the kind of prices they have. No coupons needed. Bosch pears: 3lbs for 99c, Gala apples: 3 lbs/99c, Tomatoes: 3lbs/99c, Pineapple: 1/99c, Raspberry or Black Berry: 6oz/88c, etc...
Those are good prices. My local Safeway has a sales this week on some of those same items but the sales prices are quite different: Bosc pears: 1lb/$1.99, raspberries: 6oz/$2.50, Gala apples: 1lb/$1.99, etc... And those are the so-called "Real Big Deals of the Week"!
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:46 PM   #17
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They do have a limit: 6lbs max! How do we eat 6 lbs of pear before they turn to mush?

These chains are killing each other over here. Yet, they keep opening up new stores. I guess it is difficult to make money, and so people just have to keep trying.

And there's more: onion, grapefruit, carrots, and others, all for 3lbs/99c. Limit 6lbs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:43 AM   #18
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So if you want to get back to enjoying your life, take Praxi-live-it!

May cause dizziness, feelings of confusion, internal bleeding, loss of feeling in your face or bone deterioration. Consult your doctor before taking Praxi-live-it, because it may result in unexpected weight gain, brain damage, loss of urinary control or sexual dysfunction.
The Onion has a cute send up on these kinds of ads:

FDA Approves Despondex for the Annoyingly Cheerful

http://www.theonion.com/video/fda-ap...ngly-ch,14310/


I have only realized these last few years since we have gotten interested into sustainable living how advertising coaxes people into buying unnecessary purchases. I have a long list of commercial products to stop buying and every week or so I replace some with low cost, more environmentally sound equivalents. Ziploc bags, single use batteries, bottled water, canned soup, window cleaners, moisturizing creams, tile cleaners, meat rubs, salad dressings and more are all getting replaced as I find lower cost, healthier and more sustainable or DIY alternatives.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #19
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There is a reason the "mute" button on the remote is the most used.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #20
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There is a reason the "mute" button on the remote is the most used.
"They need an intelligence knob on TVs. They have a brightness control, but that doesn't work. "

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