‘Buy now and SAVE $500!’
Start saying ‘Yeah, nah…’ to oxymoronic statements
Have you ever stepped back from something you’ve seen or heard a thousand times, and suddenly realised it doesn’t quite make sense? Common examples are people talking about a movie that’s ‘seriously funny’, the local tradesman whose van proclaims he is a ‘specialist in all types of work’, or the Aussie habit of saying ‘Yeah, nah…’.
How about this example of the language commonly found in sales promotions: ‘WAS $1600, now $1100. Save $500!’
Can you spot the problem with that? Well, for a start, it’s spending $1100. Perhaps if you really needed the item in question (e.g. car insurance), you might be able to argue you were saving $500 versus buying it when it wasn’t on sale. But you’re still not really saving the $500, are you? You’re probably just leaving it in your bank account to spend on something else. It’s not spent now, but it’s really not saved, is it?
But ‘Spend $500 less’ or ‘Only spend $1100, instead of $1600’ don’t sound quite as snappy, do they? I’m not about to argue that we need to police this type of language, but I do think it reflects the undercurrent of thinking and language that is intended to make us part with our hard-earned money as easily as possible. If we’re not careful, we’ll find our mindset influenced by those who have their interests, not our own, at heart. And there are few who really like us to save for later, rather than spend right now. But fortunately for you, we’re working on that… so keep an eye out for exactly how we plan to do it. We are days away…