During a break between overs in a domestic T20 cricket match on TV, I saw an ad which was of a mobile telecom company. You must be wondering what’s worth in it to mention; that’s all that we watch day and night on TV these days. What was strange in this ad though was the offer they we advertising for. The funky looking guy (which was supposed to represent our youth) was trying to impress a girl by shouting that he would talk to her on phone all day and night. The girl showing how much free time she actually had, got both impressed and shocked. The catch was that this particular company is offering a ‘package‘ after activating which you can talk on 3 friends’ and family numbers absolutely FREE for 24 hours for only Rs. 6.99 per day.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I am forced to ponder how people actually buy what these advertisers have to say without even noticing the real deal. I mean, talking for FREE for Rs. 6.99?
I couldn’t stop smiling when different manifestations of such offers came to my mind. It’s actually like offering:
1) Free electricity, just by paying all that is mentioned on your bill.
2) Free air ticket to Islamabad for only Rs. 7,599.
3) Free swimming lessons, only if you already know how to swim.
No wonder why our politicians don’t bother considering the ‘intellect factor’ of this nation when they ask for our votes time and again. We are being fooled round-the-clock. Those who are the future of this country are busy switching SIM cards and activating new packages on their mobiles.
Marketing and advertising has become so easy. Telecom companies are luring their customers by offering Rs. 0.25 less cost than their competitors. This is how much it costs to buy a customer. This isn’t only happening in the mobile telecom sector; almost all the goods that are being advertised are using the same kind of techniques.
Our priorities have changed so much over the past 2-3 decades. We do not need an East India Company now, we already work for one 24/7 by wasting our time, effort and creativity on things that should be of least importance to us.
We aren’t using cell phones anymore, cell phones are using us.
Hammad A. Mateen