A good capitalist can always find a way to make a buck-- even at the beginning of a worldwide pandemic. For the past week, the swine flu has been all the rage in the news-- new cases popping up in different countries and dozens of deaths in Mexico, where it may have originated. On the news, you see people trudging along the streets wearing masks.
Today, in my e-mail box I received a three-day coupon for anti-bacterial hand soap from Bath and Body Works. The headline -- in hot pink-- read: Mom says, "Wash Your Hands!" Of course, the ad is capitalizing on two events-- Mother's Day (next week) and the flu.
How clever of them to turn this problem (a potential worldwide pandemic) into a marketing opportunity. Although they're not using any scare-tactics about the flu specifically in their ad, the "wash your hands" mantra is being repeated continuously by the media and public officials. The only scare tactic in the ad, really, is the short-term lifespan on the coupon (three days)-- buy now!
I must admit, I did print out the coupon, and maybe, I'll wander past a mall sometime in the next three days and take advantage of the sale. I really like Bath and Body Works lotion-- smells great and has a really rich texture-- but I almost never buy it because it's soooooooo expensive.
I didn't go for the online shopping suggestion in the ad. Who buys hand lotion or hand soap online? I want to smell it and touch it-- duh. Also, I'm a cheapskate. I don't like to pay for shipping, and in order to get free shipping, you have to buy $65 worth. That's a heck of a lot of lotion and soap. Who would do this? Maybe, if you're a guy with several sisters, daughters, ex-wives, and/or girlfriends-- who all happen to be moms-- this would be a good deal. You could polish off your Mother's Day shopping with a few clicks and not have to leave your computer. No last minute trips to Fry's next Sunday to grab a bouquet and a Happy Mothers' Day balloon!
Normally that would be the end of this clever post, but I just looked at my e-mail again. Not to be outdone by Bath and Body Works, I just received an ad from Victoria's Secret for lotion (no anti-bacterial soap). At VS-- again a three-day coupon-- and for $50, you can get free shipping.
Now the question is: do you want to buy $65 of lotion + antibacterial soap OR $50 of lotion + stylish clothes and fancy lingerie for Mom? And if you procrastinate, you can always go to Fry's next Sunday. They'll have plenty of flowers on hand.