Oct 072011

We all do it. The package of gum in your purse, the magazine abandoned on your table, the chocolate bar you ate on the way home. We all know it, do it and feel guilty for it if even just for a few minutes. But do we need to be told we’re doing it when we do?

The other day we were shopping at a big retailer I won’t name and we were purchasing just one item but felt like cattle going through the maze to reach the cash. As we, my husband and I, waited our eyes scanned the items strategically placed before us and found a new gum we both wanted to try. But we also found a “misplaced” tag amongst the price labels on the shelf and were stupefied.

“Impluse Item” it read. As if the employees needed to know where to stock the items you never go to a big store to purchase. Have you ever gone just to pick up a chocolate bar and walked a mile through the parking lot, went directly to the cash and waited in the crazy long line up of “convenience” or “1-10” items? If you have I bet it was extremely seldom and you complained about your abnormal sudden craving the entire time.

Stores are in business to sell though and once they have you in the line up they know how to catch your attention and distract you, at least a little, from the 20 items being rung through at the one open cash labeled ‘express’.

As we were funneled closer to the cash we talked about all the signs that these items were their last ditch effort to sell but I have to admit, despite our efforts and disappointment of this “subliminal” messaging, we did by the gum. We did quite enjoy the flavour but the way it was sold to us is leaving a horrible flavour that is lasting a lot longer than the gum’s flavour.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland
author of Arm Farm, Sending You Sammy, and Brain Tales – Volume One

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