Well, here Wii go again. This year, like last year people are lined up far and wide fro try and find a Nintendo Wii . God help them all of they hope to find a game for the Wii called Guitar Hero III. I am starting to believe that we are like puppets on strings.  The marketers deploy a strategy, and it looks something like this;

 

·         Hype a product with media advertising till young people MUST have one to be an accepted part of their own sub- culture

·         Mass produce oodles of the product in order to take advantage of the young person and his/her family who only want “the best for their child,”

·         Market the goodness (literally) out of Christmas reminding people at every turn that it is all about  the gifts and getting the right gift will make you “the best Dad Eveuuur!” [As an aside I think if I see that Best Buy advertisement one more time I may destroy my freshly won TV set].

·         Put limited supplies of your product on store shelves at any given time so that people have to line up in many cases overnight to get the product.

·         Create a cloud of secrecy about when delivers of the said merchandise will arrive so that again there is a feeding frenzy.  I called a store two days ago and asked about the Nintendo Wii for a relative in Newfoundland (Yes you read right – I was back to that again even after the Miracle woman Paula from last year saved my skin, I found myself this year hunting again) When asked when there would be more coming in the answer was “We never know. Our supplier never tells us, they show up – we put the Wiis on the floor and they sell in 15 minutes or less.”

·         Once a goodly amount of millions have been made off of the frenzy created and the wrapping paper is all burned (or at David Suzuki’s house recycled) fill the shelves with the merchandise so that the unlucky serfs who did not get one at “the most wonderful time of the year” can purchase one so that they too can be like their friend Kayla, Reggie, Thomas or Mia who had “the best Dad evuuuur.”

 

And in the end wii all play along. But why? It drives me star carving mad some days. Yet here wii all are and wii will likely all overspend and all over extend ourselves in some way shape or form this Christmas to meet the expectations that have been set for us. But wii should ask ourselves who has set those standards? They have not been set by the kids or their friends although the pressure may come from there. They have been set by those who are our puppeteers, and faithful marionettes that we are, we (I’ll switch to the proper we now) tap dance the “consumer shuffle.”  The long and short of it on my end is, my relative in Newfoundland lucked out with the Wii. She happened to be in the mother of all stores, Walmart and heard that voice from the heaven, “Attention shoppers! Attention shoppers! We have just received a shipment of Nintendo Wiis and they are available in Aisle 10!” She dropped her things and was able to successfully break a couple of tackles to dive in for a first down – Touchdown Wii!” (Ok well I exaggerated a little bit there – but you get the picture.) So I am off the hook with the Wii – but I dance on in search of the soft tunes of Guitar Hero 3 in hopes that I might become “the best Uncle Evuuuuur!”  

 

Here is a consumer’s prayer that I found online – use it!

 

CONSUMER"S PRAYER

throwaway bottles
throwaway cans
throwaway friendships
throwaway fans

disposable diapers
disposable plates
disposable people
disposable wastes

instant puddings
instant rice
instant intimacy
instant ice

plastic dishes
plastic laces
plastic flowers
plastic faces

Lord of the living
transcending our lives
infuse us with meaning
recycle our lives

Joyce M. Shutt