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Beware of Scummy Advertising

One of the incredibly difficult first-world living conditions we deal with here in America is the constant inundation with advertising from every direction.  In one way it is a great thing and in other ways it is terrible.  Businesses have to make a buck, but not necessarily off of me.  The trick is putting all things advertising through the filter of a well-tuned brain cell.

The following marketing and advertising are among the scummiest of all schemes, in my humble opinion formed by bad experience – of course.

"Come turn the key to see if you win a car" ;-)

“Come turn the key to see if you win a car” 😉

Surely I’m not the only person they send these to, so I’m sure you’ve received them to.  Did you really go down there and turn the key?  Really??   I wonder if they’ve ever REALLY given away a car.  To the car dealership credit I have never tried this at the car dealership to see what would happen, but I have to imagine you receive one of the hardest sales pitches ever.  I HAVE tried something very similar to this at a much more shady place than the car dealership, but I won’t go in to it as I still have scars from it (and that’s probably why I distrust these schemes).

The temptation an advertising strategy like this creates exists whether the sales pitch at the car lot is aggressive or not.  That’s why they do it – to get us on their lot looking at the cars and feeling all tempted to buy one.  Before we know it they’ve convinced us to finance something we never planned to buy, just because the payments were low, because we actually believed we were going to win that free car but when we didn’t they had a deal we could not miss.  For the next 5-8yrs we get the monthly reminder of how stupid it was to think we were really going to win a free car without going to Wheel Of Fortune and winning the bonus round.

Here’s another one of my favorite hates of all time:

Somehow using these checks doesn't feel as stupid as using the card.

Somehow using these checks doesn’t feel as stupid as using the card.

Stupid checks like these ate my lunch more than once when I was so naive to believe I would be able to catch up to the debt problem I was creating.  I did it more than once!  (Talk about young and dumb).  As if using checks like this didn’t burn me bad enough the first time I did it – I did it again.  Instead of just throwing them away when they came in the mail I would put them to one side, “just in case we needed them”.  The way we were snowballing stupid financial mistakes how would I not have a ‘just in case’ need?

I’ve never heard ANYONE testify of having a good experience after using these – EVER.  There is a reason!  People who are in a situation to need what these checks are designed to influence us to do are not people who have a great financial plan.  When we’re in desperate financial situations we make terribly irrational decisions.  Before we know it we have a maxed out balance at a ridiculous interest rate and struggle to make the minimum payments that will never go away as long as we’re only paying that amount.

So – next time you get this kind of crap in the mail do what I do.  LOL – seriously, I laugh out loud.  Then throw that crap away as fast as you can.  Shred it, burn it, bury the ashes in mud and put a rock on top of the grave – a freakin boulder if you have to.  Don’t leave any chance that advertisements like this could come back to haunt you.

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