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I’ve reached the end of the line, my limit has been breached, as it were.

I have had enough, and I can’t stand no more.

I’m talking about ads, commercials, spots, whatever cool vernacular you want to use to describe the visual medium that plays over airwaves and into our house via what is commonly referred to as a TV.

The target of my ire is aimed directly and squarely at the airline industry. Truth be told, I do not blame these companies and their respective ad agencies one bit for capitalizing and promoting a benefit they offer and others don’t. I get it … It’s their USP, Universal Selling Point. Or at least it’s one of them.

Here’s two spots from two different airlines:

The first one is Southwest’s campaign---which I like by the way in terms of creativity and execution---that promotes and advertises the fact that on their airline "Bags Fly Free!"

The second spot is for Jet Blue and promotes and advertises the fact that passengers on their planes get … a whole can of soda!

Now before I go on, let me state for the record that I do not fly very often, point being I don’t even know if these “amenities” are still being offered by each respective airline. But just the fact that they were at one point in time was enough to make me want to put pen to paper, as it were.

I just love the line in the Jet Blue spot … “free unlimited brand-name snacks.”

Man: “What airline should be fly, honey?’
Woman: “Jet Blue, for sure … ! We can get all the Oreos we want, and none of that store-brand crap the other airlines offer.”

But think about this, boys and girls. Should we as consumers now be happy that we are getting something for free that should have been always been free to start with?

Are you kidding me?!?!?!!

I was out a few days … I apparently missed the part where the American consumer gleefully celebrates getting ripped off, duped, and downright conned by the greed of corporations and companies.

Don’t you see what is happening here, people?

1. Companies are taking things that used to be free and now assigning a cost to them.
2. Everyone gets outraged.
3. The outrage dies down and ultimately passes, and the aforementioned charging for what used to be free becomes an accepted practice.
4. Said company then creates an ad campaign/blitz that promotes and advertises something which is NOW free, which should have stayed free the whole time!
5. We all dance gaily in the streets and happily patronize said company for “being different” than the other guy.

And this is just one industry I’ve touched on …

Did you know some supermarkets now charge you to use a shopping cart? How many restaurants now charge for what used to be free refills on beverages? We even have to pay for air for our tires now!

So, if you’re enjoying something for free right now, chances are it won’t be free for very long, and the cycle will begin and then one day, it will be free again.

What can we as the American consumer to stop this incessant cycle from happening or are we powerless to stop it?

Help me out, please … someone. Anyone. Bueller?

Continue reading "Listen Up, People! Consumers Are Being Duped" ... Read the full article

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Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions.

He has worked on everything from a Super Bowl TV spot to a Mom and Pop radio spot---and all points in between. He doesn't drink. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't use foul lang... well, he doesn't drink or smoke.

He is a naturally curious and opinionated person who's had to fight his way (sometimes literally) for everything he's achieved professionally. And if it were not for his rock (AKA his wife), he would not be here today. He would still be stocking shelves, not that there's anything wrong with that... 

Follow @steveolenski on Twitter