December 23, 2007

Thanks to psychologists, marketing has become more and more fun along the years. But it is important that you actually notice it, otherwise the fun is lost on you. One thing every single human with money has become aware of is the fact that the prices of things tend to end in 9's. It doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't matter how much it costs, whether it's a car or a candy-cane, it'll always end up in 9's. $999 or $9.99.

Of course, we all understand the psychology behind this device: "Oh, this is 9.99, so it is not 10 dollars!" But honestly, is there anyone here who will argue that 9.99 bucks is not 10 bucks? What's a cent? Is a cent worth being psychologically tricked?

Second of all, I am actually unsure of the sound reasoning behind this psychology. Check this out: $9.99 has three numbers in itself, all of which are the maximal number 9 - it doesn't get higher than this, unless you resort to combos. $10, on the other hand, has only two numbers, and look at which numbers they are! 1 and 0. These are the smallest numbers you could dream of, and as we all know: 0 is nothing, and nothing means "free" in marketing terms.

Moreover, round prices such as $10 would clearly tell the clients: "I am not trying to fuck your mind with my prices; they are just simple prices for simple things." And that, people, would make a good impression on me, instead of that 0.99 bullshit nonsense. It's an insult to everyone: we all know what you guys are doing! Nobody honestly believes you're seriously caring about us sparing a single cent on during our shopping! Get real!

I'm so bad at maths, I would consider not buying an item that's $9.99 simply because to add up two of those would make a crazy mental calculation to go through (but of course, I'd just consider they're both 10 bucks, and add that). $10 is infinitely less frightening to me than $9.99, for this and other reasons. $9.99, that's the number of the Beast! And we all know that money is Satan's cock.

Yet, I still see those stupid evil prices everywhere. Even when it's strictly meaningless, such as on items that cost less than a buck. Even better: they even set the price at $X.99 when the currency doesn't have the capability of paying this precisely! Say the smallest coin or bill you have is 0.05, well that becomes even more ridiculous. And yet, it happens. I saw it. When they actually put a little thinking in there, marketing demons consider reducing the price to $X.95, but that's when they think. [Re-reading this later on, I can't remember for the life of me where I saw any of this stuff...]

And no, I'm not impressed by marketing psychological tricks: they are stupid. And as soon as the people in general are aware that there's a trick, the trick stumbles down into oblivion and gross mockery. Nobody falls for it anymore, and so, marketing demons, you can start becoming intelligent, and human, if that is feasible.

I see a few groups of people in Hell: lawyers, bankers, health-insurance people, doctors, serial killers, and marketing people without a brain or heart.