Monday, May 20, 2019


Several years ago I began seeing commercials for a cell phone service provider called Consumer Cellular. The commercials still play today and are clearly targeted at seniors living on a fixed budget. But I didn't care, they had me at "plans starting at ten dollars a month" and "why pay for more than you need?"

I told DH about it and we both poked around the website a bit, along with other research like looking for reviews and whatnot. Before long we were plugging our info into the online form and got ourselves switched over. Just like that, our cell phone bills were slashed to maybe a quarter of what they were before with our conventional 'brand name' service provider.

Over the years as we've upgraded and added more apps and gotten into playing with the phones a bit more, the bill has inflated a some due to eventually opting for bigger data plans. But the bill is still less than half of what we were paying in the old days, at about 50 bucks a month (total for the both of us).

When the subject of finances and savings comes up at work or among friends DH always tries to turn people on to our current, very affordable service provider. But our friends always wave off the idea outright simply because they have also seen the commercials and know that the company's marketing is targeted primarily at senior citizens. This is baffling. Why? Would it make them feel uncool? Even though nobody knows what cell service provider anyone else is using until you ask and they agree to tell you?  

But these friends scoff at saving 50, 60, even 100 bucks a month because knowing the company's marketing strategy makes them feel as if they're being asked to push around a walker with tennis balls attached to the feet.

I never quite realized how profound an effect marketing can have on our brains until I saw this phenomenon in effect - an advertisement that offers an equal service product for a lot less money that makes people not want to buy it. Presumably because of the lack of 'cool factor' in the ad's imagery? How is this such a big factor in a purchasing decision that doesn't involve anything having to do with your outward appearance?

I told DH he could try suggesting other similar companies like Republic Wireless that don't seem to spend much ad money on commercials targeting senior citizens. But he sighs and replies that it's no use, people are just stuck in their mindsets until they decide to get out of it. 

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