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Are we creating a generation of brats?

9 March 2011 No Comment

It started with music. Then came movies. And TV shows.

At some point, someone decided that paying for stuff should be optional.

As a consumer, I’m not complaining. Free stuff rocks.

But as an advertising professional it makes me really freaking nervous.

How do you sell to people who don’t want to buy anything?

Companies like Foursquare and Groupon have tapped into this notion. Check in somewhere enough times and score some loot. Convince enough of your buddies to go to lunch and pay next to nothing.

And people are getting spoiled.

I recently saw a tweet where someone complained that the discount they got through Foursquare was too small.

Okay, but you didn’t really have to do anything for that discount so why are you crying about it?

“But I checked in like 5 times!”

Sure, and I applaud your ability to hit a few buttons while you’re in line for your latte. But where does it all end?

A simple high school economics class will lay out the very basic principle that keeps the marketplace going—people make stuff and people buy stuff.

Now, the market can adapt, as we’ve witnessed in the music industry. But at some point, if everyone starts insisting on getting everything for free there won’t be a market anymore.

And there won’t be jobs anymore.

So, next time you get your knickers in a bunch because you only got 25% off at the bagel shop, perhaps you should just smile and express a little gratitude.

After all, saying “thank you” doesn’t cost you a damn thing.

- TJ Bennett

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