Saturday, July 09, 2005
Thoughts from under an Oak Tree
The Art of Subtle Coercion in Advertisement.

In my postal mailbox yesterday was one of those glossy catalogs from Dell Computers.

If you have bought anything online in the last 5 years you too are probably getting glossy computer magazines from Dell. I don’t consider computer catalogs junk junkmail, it is always nice to see how cheap the computer you bought last week is selling for today. I almost always save them for awhile and when I have the time leaf through them dreaming of upgrading the ’92 Yugo I use on the information highway.

Upon receiving it, I glanced quickly through it and put it aside. Even though I had just given the catalog a cursory glance, I had a feeling I had missed something big in the catalog that required more of my attention. First thing this morning I picked it up again, and looked a little more closely.

Then it came to me. About halfway through the 60 page catalog, in prominent display there on the page trying to sell me the extended warranties for computer systems, was a disturbing picture. It was a picture of a cup of coffee in mid-air spilling its brown colored liquid toward a laptop computer. What is going on?

I started to see a sinister plot unfolding.

Yes, as I continued leafing through the catalog, I noticed several photos that seemed to suggest it was alright to have liquids only inches away from computers. Really, I have ruined several keyboards by having coffee too close to my work. But here Dell is saying on one hand “buy our extended warranty, so that when you spill coffee on your laptop, we’ll fix it or replace it. Nice going, they get your money if you are careful, and they get your money if you are careless.

Upon closer look I noticed in the catalog other pictures of things a person should never do with a computer. There is a picture of a person jogging in the sand a few feet from the ocean with a music player (and those little devils are at least 10 times the computer you first bought in '92) that is slung around the jogger’s wrist. Nice picture, but the ocean spray is slowly eating that ipod wannabe up. Continuing on in the glossy, I came to a two page spread showing four computers sitting on large slabs of ice…..yes ice. You figure that one out, I can’t, but I know it would not be good to have your computer room double as a walk-in freezer, or have your computer resting on ice in the library at room temperature.

Next came the back to nature pitch; two laptops resting on a lawn under a tree which looks like an oak tree. If you stay very long under an oak tree, something is going to fall. It could be leaves, twigs, bird droppings, squirrel urine, acorns, or that sticky pollen that falls by the bushel basket, Yes something is going to fall on those laptops and damage them. Next I noticed two different pages with cups of liquid dangerously close to the laptops Dell was trying to sell.

Do you see the subtle coercion here? Go ahead ruin your laptop. We sell them or sell the insurance on them.

I have a lot more to write, but I just spilled hot coffee all over me and my keyb a32==\a l;eq’w4p\q=-


Blogger reojames said...

Great ending. I loved it.
By the way, how can Dell sell a very decent computer with CD burner, keyboard, ect.ect. for on $299.?

Blogger web_loafer said...

I haven't a clue, and I suppose it was a rhetorical question. I remember shelling out almost 2 grand for a computer and monitor.....geez....things are rough today.
My pay has increased in the same period about that means that Computer Bundle would have cost me $3,000 in todays dollars.
Trouble is I don't have any of todays dollars, the credit card companies, gas companies and government has all but a few dollars of my check. But computers are cheap. Go figure.
Capitalism rocks...don't let any communist tell you differently.

Blogger Kristen said...

They're making Yugos again, btw.

Sorry to intrude, just randomly blog-hopping because that's what I do on Saturdays when there's nothing else. Carry on witcho bad self, won't you?

Blogger web_loafer said...

sardasmo........nice handle, gotta swing on over to your place and check it out.
Yugos again........all they make SUV's?

Blogger David Schantz said...

So your saying I should move this cup? I stopped by to let you know I have posted my Question Of The Week, I hope you will stop by to answer it.

I just noticed your clock shows K.C. time. If thats where you are your not far from me, Saint Joseph, Missouri.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Blogger booklover9191 said...

Thoughts from under an oak my how I love that. Oh well, think I'm past the worst of it.

Be well.

Blogger web_loafer said...

booklover9191, In the future I plan to steer away from politics as a central theme here at SB, but the events happening in London brought everything boiling out again.

Blogger booklover9191 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger booklover9191 said...

it is don't have to shut it down...bye.

Blogger prying1 said...

Does the insurance cover the computer when it is struck lustily with a hammer? How about being thrown from a four story window? Did they have any pictures of that? Bullet holes or shoes through the monitor?

Blogger prying1 said...

Forgot to mention - Why do Yugos have rear window defrosters?

Give up?

To keep your hands warm while you are pushing it.

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