t is presumed that Man has walked the earth for nearly 200,000 years. Evolution has worked slowly. First, it was fire. Then, the wheel. At some point, plumbing. But boy, oh boy, has Man really hit a stride in the past couple thousand years.
Good old Man learned to write and communicate. Then, Man learned to drive a car. At some point, Man recognized that Woman was a part of the equation as well.
But just in the last 50 years, humanity has gone super-nova in advancements culminating in the ability to communicate and dispense information via the Information Superhighway. The Internet has brought a world closer together and it has also brought commercialism to the globe. From the second someone emailed their first “Hello, World!” the second email was likely to sell a mattress during President’s Day Weekend.
Radio and television were made to sell products first and entertain second. The Internet, it was thought, was a communications tool. Nope. It’s all about marking down prices.
Humanity wasn’t meant to evolve at such a pace and smart people know that Man, at his core, is really still the same creature from 200,000 years ago searching for a warm bed and maybe a fire to snuggle near. Enter spam. Now, spam emails used to only be for selling erection pills and introductions to a Nigerian Prince who had a financial opportunity for you. Maybe spam also turned into your Uncle sending forwarded jokes about President Clinton and his cigar.
Spam has refined, however. No longer can it just be assumed to go in the trash folder. Because, occasionally, you’ll get a good coupon or maybe a piece of information you need. Retailers know this and cater to those caveman urges through Pavlovian responses. They mostly center around the risk of missing a great opportunity. They call it FOMO – or Fear of Missing Out. And it works.
Have you ever responded to an email that reads “Act Now! Deadline Approaching!” Sure you have. You might miss out! Even though they run the exact same sale every Monday through Thursday. This might be the last time!
Man used to only need when it was hungry or cold. Now, you better check out that Kohl’s ad because your 25% off coupon ends at 10 a.m. tomorrow. And here, we’ll even give you $5 that expires in 25 minutes to sweeten the pot.
Your heart starts to race. Your mind starts to see yourself in that wool coat that is marked down only for the next two hours.
It’s why doorbuster sales and weekend only discounts work so much. It’s an urge as old as time itself. If you don’t down that wooly mammoth, you might not eat this winter and your cave will be cold. Better load up on wooly mammoth lard at the Caveman Cyber Monday sale. Today only!
For several years, I got to a pretty happy place with spam. It all went in a folder and I never had to sift through it. Marketers have gotten brilliant with this stuff and my inbox runneth over again with sneak peeks and double cash back and an extra 5% back today only.
I am helpless and wishing to return to a time before the Internet, when all one had to do was find a dinosaur to go kill and the Amazon meant the rainforest and not the box delivery service. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have 18 more minutes before this bluetooth speaker is an extra 4% off.
(Act now and head to Twitter where you can follow the escapades of our man Chris Kamler, also known as @TheFakeNed. Search for him on YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and wherever toys are sold)