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I have become a slave to supermarket marketing ploys. Not only am I doing something I swore I never would, but having slumped on my trolley dragging my trashed ego behind me, I wonder how many other parents have fallen prey to redeeming their receipt for X-amount of dominoes/animal cards and now, who could have possibly imagined, miniature shopping items!
Just as I’ve bothered to collect one set of cards, which I am told are the be-all and end-all at school, a new gimmick has been launched, and my kids are desperate to get their hands on a mini replica Nutella jar.
As the responsible, level-headed adult that I purportedly am, I should be the voice of reason and refuse to be sucked into the vortex of the next fad, and the one after that.
But there you have it. I am not anywhere near as stern as I would like to be — an admission that likely has a marketing genius with a PhD in Disposable Kids Fads somewhere feeling pretty chuffed right now.
I keep telling myself that these toys are “free”, so I am not really spending any more that I would have, but that’s hardly the truth. It’s not like I’ve sworn any kind of allegiance to any of the supermarket chains, but when a campaign is on, I sell out to the one that’s most likely to score me extra hugs when get home.
With an impressive amount of collectables garbage stacked up in the kids’ play room, and I can only call it garbage because no one cares less about it once the campaign is done, I alone am accountable.
One of the country’s major supermarkets chain recently wrapped up a promotion which awarded customers a certain amount of stickers at the register, which would then be traded in by the school for educational equipment.
It might sound like a feel-good initiative, but what if the majority of parents at a particular school don’t shop at that particular supermarket?
Isn’t schlepping out of our way to redeem the odd collectables card bad enough without being enticed to do on the grounds it is the righteous choice for the welfare of our children’s school?
It’s what happens when pester power collides with parental guilt: and it’s a supermarket marketing ploys this trolley-pushing slave, for one, could do without.
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What’s more, I’m kind of horrified that people (aka parents) are willing to part with $500 to buy the complete set on eBay. Anyone heard of a holiday slush fund account?  That’s where my cold hard cash would be going.
As for that elusive mini Nutella jar, well, my kids will have to  go without. I am boycotting this particular marketing bonanza. For a shopping supremo who has (rightfully) banned one-use plastic bags, the logic of introducing another wave of useless plastic items that will inevitably end  up in land fill just baffles me.
Plus, and this one is important, this supermarket doesn’t stock the particular style of croissants my three mini-mites so dearly love.
Rant over.
CNB
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