Friday, March 4, 2016

Games People Play-Coupons|Incentives|Promotions

Safeway Monopoly Game Image

Safeway Monopoly Game Tickets

It is not unusual for people to want to win something, but at what cost?

I’ve watched Extreme Couponing a few times and am amazed at how much time they spend to organize, file, shop, and store the massive amount of items. On the whole, it’s stuff that is not all that healthy for you. A huge amount of processed and frozen foods. Paper goods, deodorant, shampoo, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent.

The last time I watched the show; one woman had spent over 50 hours preparing for her shopping trip. Buying multiple newspapers to get an added advantage and getting her kids to help clip and sort.

I think it’s all crazy. But, I thought I ought to try and see what some of these shopper incentives were all about and how much time it takes.

Safeway has a Monopoly game. You get tickets to paste onto the board depending on how much you buy. At first I did not collect the tickets, thinking how silly it was. Then I decided to be a consumer on their terms. I started taking the game rewards.

First you open the tickets, then you sort them, then try and find where they go. You have to turn the board around and around to see if you have any matched numbers. Next, you have to turn it over and start this whole process again.

The images are so small I needed to use a magnifier to match them up. It’s a bit tricky with some of the impressions, so you end up looking to match numbers, not just images.

Why am I sharing this? Well, the biggest reason is how much time you spend looking at the images. Talk about brand influence! You have this game that actually hypnotizes you. Depending on how many tickets you have, you may look very closely at a brand logo many, many times.

Not too unlike couponing…brand impressions are registered hundreds and hundreds of times. You may be saving money, but you are being influenced to buy certain brands whether you want to or not. Your brain is being tattooed with brand names and it will affect you your whole life. You won’t even know why, but you will buy based on the subtle, or not so subtle effects of the circulars, games, incentives, discounts and in-store promotions.

Pretty soon you will not have a mind of your own. You will buy based on advertising and marketing. Again, you won’t know why you buy what you buy.

These sales tactics seem innocent enough, play a game, maybe win some money, a vacation home, luxury car, home makeover, college tuition, trip, gift card, spa treatment, Redbox movies for a year, weekend getaway, jet ski or a family picnic, but I want you to think seriously about how much time you will spend looking at these brand logos.

I want you to think about all the hours you will spend clipping coupons when you could be spending quality time with your family. Cooking nutritious meals, not microwaving some Hot Pockets because you got them for free.

It took me hours to play this little game with myself. To actually experience the whole gig one game ticket at a time. If you like puzzles, you will like this. If you are lucky, you will win something. More than likely you will get a 25 cents off coupon for a tub of Daisy Sour Cream, Dannon Activia Yogurt, Twizzlers Twists, Nabisco Wheat Thins Toasted Chips, Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies, Daisy Cottage Cheese, One 2 Liter bottle of your choice of name brand soda, Jolly Time Microwave Popcorn, Capri Sun Juice Drink Blend, Nabisco Oreo Sandwich Cookies, Edge Shave Gel, perhaps 50 cents off Finish Jet-Dry Liquid Rinse Agent, 75 cents off Sparkle Paper Towels Prints, or a real biggie, an instant winner of two (2) bonus Monopoly game tickets on your next visit while supplies last. Woohoo!

Even this is another example of how brands influence us. I looked at the coupons and typed them in for this article. Ridiculous! All this does not even include the hours it would take to add the codes in for the online game or fill out individual, hand-addressed, 3X5 index cards for each code in a separate envelope. Now add postage. Gee, what a deal.

It’s your call if you want to trade time for money in the form of coupons, or playing games like this. But in the end, it’s the brands who win, not you.

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