Suffer. Spend. Repeat.

Good article about how Corporations manipulate people in to buying stuff they don’t really want and spending money that puts them in debt slavery.

Also a very good reason to avoid 3D stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Although television advertising creates that same desire without real need.  I became aware of this when I found myself seriously jonesing for one of the new iPod Nanos around Thanksgiving when they were super saturating the air waves for one.  Apple is really good at that and I find myself jonesing for their products when in real life the last Apple product I thought was really cool was the Apple II.

It’s one of those dark side aspects of psychology, the manipulation of people into thinking or doing something not in their best interests.

I’m reading Amy Goodman’s: The Exception to the Rulers : Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them.  It is  from about 2005, in it she discusses the manipulation that dragged us into the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires.

There is something really immoral about this sort of manipulation of people, something that make me think progressive people should condemn this sort of manipulation.

From The New York Times:

By Oliver Burkeman
Published: December 8, 2012

In these final weeks before Christmas, it may strike you that retailers have gone out of their way to make holiday shopping as unpleasant an experience as possible. The odd truth is that they probably have. And there’s a reason for that: evidence suggests that the less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend.

 So stores crank up music, repeat the same songs, over and over again, pipe in smells, race shoppers around to far-flung points of purchase and clog their heads with confusing offers. All of which makes it more likely we’ll part more readily with more money.

Take those Christmas songs — the ones that begin to play in stores in November and last for what seems like eternity. Few of us would claim to love listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” over and over; just last month, customer complaints reached such heights in Canada that Shoppers Drug Mart, the country’s largest pharmacy chain, caved to consumer pressure and announced it would switch off Christmas music “until further notice.”

But what we love or don’t love isn’t really the point. (The Canadian chain’s ban lasted only a couple of weeks.) Music played at high volumes, for example, may be irritating, but researchers from Penn State and the National University of Singapore concluded it was one of several factors that leads to overstimulation and “a momentary loss of self-control, thus enhancing the likelihood of impulse purchase.”

Those who create shopping environments really don’t care what music you like to listen to. A classic 1982 study by the marketing professor Ronald E. Milliman, now at Western Kentucky University, found that slower tempos make it more likely that shoppers will linger inside stores — and spend more money. If “White Christmas” keeps you in the store, who cares whether you like its languid phrasings?

Not that faster music slows spending. The researchers at Penn State and in Singapore found that upbeat music can, in fact, overstimulate shoppers and prompt impulsive purchases. Other studies suggest that classical music incites more spending than Top 40 tunes when played in wine stores and that songs with “pro-social” lyrics result in higher tips for restaurant staff.

Smell is another part of the retailer’s arsenal. Like music, smells are selected to encourage spending, not to make your shopping experience more comfortable.

Eric Spangenberg, a Washington State University professor who specializes in the marketing power of scent, explains how retailers try to fill stores with what he calls “congruent” smells, meaning aromas that customers connect with the season or seasonal products.

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