Greed – With a Fear Chaser
We’ve all seen the TV ads: A man with a microphone and a bouquet of flowers walks up to a house and rings the doorbell. The adult who answers is handed a check that’s bigger than the car in his driveway (both actually and figuratively) while lots of screaming family members leap up and down with excitement over the windfall. The Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol strikes again, only this time, I was caught in their trap …
I was minding my business playing an online game, when, between turns, I was presented with an invitation to enter the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and win $5,000 a week for life. I said to myself “Now that would make my life a tad bit better, so what the heck,” clicked, and started a long and winding journey. While it ended with the agony of defeat, along the way I was exposed to some of the cleverest marketing tactics I’d seen in a long time, and they reminded me of the power of personalization—and greed.
From the minute I registered for the giveaway, I received a steady stream of emails. Each one asked me to “click” or “accept” or “approve” some data point in some compelling way (ongoing engagement!)—and since I didn’t have time to read all the fine print, I definitely got the feeling that if I didn’t at least “do” something, that perhaps my chances of winning were in jeopardy. So, I was hooked. I opened each email and was led, like a horse to water, to drink from the fountain of hope.
“Verify your address so the Prize Patrol can find you!” one email proclaimed. Well gee, of course I want to make sure the Prize Patrol (PP) goes to MY house and not my crabby neighbor across the street! So I reviewed the data and clicked my approval.