But it's not necessary

The biggest sucker deal in retail.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

There'd be days like this she said

  I fully realize that sweepstakes and instant winnings are tried-and-true marketing schemes that aren't likely to end anytime soon . The underlying theme of our society is instant gratification, more so with every passing day, so the idea of something free NOW just gets more and more appealing. Not that it ever wasn't appealing, but the sense of entitlement that we have instilled in our young people over the last 30 years leaves us all with little patience for hard work preceding our rewards. However, there is a line, however fine, between instant winnings and complete schnauzer grade dog offerings.

  I purchased several Butterfinger candy bars a week or so ago, (you know the one, it's like a 5th Avenue but not as good, Bart Simpson eats them); and on the wrappers is a two-tiered sweepstakes announcement. One can instantly win another candy bar, one in twenty will do so. In addition, one can go online and enter a code to play for [up to] one million dollars! Just to be sure before I wrote about it, I went to the site and went through the rather lengthy registering process and played the game. It is not a lottery, by which I mean there aren't million dollar winning wrappers; your number is simply a ticket to gain access to a rather difficult treasure hunt at the website. You can play once per wrapper code #. I didn't get any farther than the first leg of the journey, and I suspect there are several more obstacles on the way to the million bucks. This is pretty standard time-wasting crap that some sweepstakes junkie in Iowa always wins, and frankly, my time is better spent researching Powerball odds.

  The instant win part, the free candy bar; I did win that. It didn't take much effort either, just opened the package and wiped the melted chocolate out of the way to read the glee-inducing news. Unfortunately, my glee was short lived. Instead of printing a simple bar code coupon so that one might visit the candy vendor of their choosing and receive their free candy bar; one is asked to send the wrapper on a 3x5 card along with their name, address, and a daytime phone number to Nestlé and, um, presumably await the delivery of a coupon that one can take to the candy vendor of one's choosing and receive a free candy bar. Not as bad as 39¢ to send it in an envelope, but being glued to that 22¢ postcard leaves my winning wrapper at the mercy of any unscrupulous postal worker that comes across it. All of this wouldn't be quite as comical if the object won were say a flat panel monitor or even a Raffi cd, but we're talking about a candy bar. They say in the odds that it has a retail value of 79¢, but I would never pay that for a bar that is not a particular favorite. Since I paid 25¢ each for mine, it hardly seems worth my time to send away for my winnings, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I won something. Good self esteem builder that.

Duty Freebie: I've been reading AvenueF for a few months, slowly digging through the archives and enjoying it. Frankie currently attends USC and is having a good time, she is very creative and her journal (several years worth) reflects that.


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