I Love You Honey, Here’s Some Printer Ink
It’s tough out there for businesses today. Believe me, I know. I spend my days working to help local businesses succeed and my nights trying to get people to buy fried fish. It’s no secret that we have to take advantage of every possible opportunity. We need to provide quality products at the lowest possible prices. We need to provide excellent customer service. We need to advertise aggressively to make sure that people remember that we’re here. It’s constant work, goddamnit.
In the heat of battle that is capitalism, we sometimes lose focus and overestimate possibilities that seem to be afforded by certain marketing opportunities. For example, dropping turkeys from a helicopter as a Thanksgiving celebration is not as good an idea in practice as it is in theory.
An equally stupid marketing idea is to take a holiday invented by a greeting card company and use it to try and sell me language-learning software. As if Valentine’s day isn’t bad enough already, do you really need to make it worse by reminding me that the most romantic thing I can do on the national day of love is put on a pair of headphones to try and learn to speak Russian so I can finally communicate with the mail order bride that refuses to get into the box that is bound for America because of my man-tits and acne? Do you honestly think that I would respond positively to such a marketing effort? If language learning software isn’t bad enough, check this shit out:
That’s right boys and girls…it is Valentine’s day savings on ink and fucking toner. The only thing more mockable than being the graphic designer who brought this monstrosity to life is being the man or woman who jumps at the opportunity to lovingly purchase ink and toner. Can you imagine sitting there trying to get the ribbon just right for your client at the discount Chinese ink and toner place? I can just see myself stopping, looking up at the clock and asking God, “Really God? Is this what is has come to? A heart ribbon lovingly placed between a $20 HP copier and overpriced ink cartridges? I am going to go sit in my garage with the engine running.”
Just to test my hypothesis that a Valentine’s day ink sale is a dumb idea I bought some cyan, put it in a giant fuzzy jewelry box and took my wife to her favorite Arby’s on Valentine’s day. As she was applying her second coat of “horsie sauce” I sprung the box on her. My woman’s eyes lit up like a coke-fueled child on Christmas morning. After opening the box, they immediately went dull like the eyes of a coke-fueled hooker on Christmas night. Face it fellas, ink does not a romantic gift make.
I mean, I know it’s just a dumb reason to have a sale, but Valentine’s day can’t be easily co-opted like President’s day – where there is nothing else to do except fondly remember long dead white guys and buy mattresses – Valentines day is already filled with necessary activities. One either needs to run around attempting to create a pleasant and romantic environment for a significant other or buy booze with which to poison oneself into forgetting you are 1)alone or 2) with someone crappy or 3) old. There is no room for ink, language-learning software or whatever else you guys come up with in the comments. Now I gotta go and try to find some way to get back into the house.