In this post I look at the phenomenon of free stuff, and how it captures our minds. You can see my previous post on the ''Art Of The Tortured Genius'' here.
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. Does that stir up the consumerist in you?
So they say, the best things in life are free. Advertise free donuts and this what you get.
Donuts in the morning? Can’t eat stuff like that at that hour myself. Or else they were picking them up to have later. Either way, a good day, and a good start for Huckleberry’s.
Let’s look at Boojum‘s opening offer of free burritos.
You said it, madness. I like the rice and beans as much as the next person, but you wouldn’t catch me in one of those queues. They must be doing something right.
At the time of writing, yet another Boojum has opened with the lure of the free burrito. The cycle repeats.
Then there’s the ”Free Breakfast Friday” occasionally offered by McDonalds, one of which took place on our election day last year.
Priorities. Nah, who I am to comment, I queued for that same McMuffin and never even voted.
And then there’s 99 cent petrol. Not free, granted, but it’s as good as, considering the price you’d normally pay.
Interestingly, both the 99 cent petrol and the Free Breakfast Friday promotions required Garda intervention due to congestion.
The free section of adverts.ie gives new life to the ”one man’s trash” idiom. Even the smallest, most obscure items are sure to find a new home. a few stamps, a bath, old memorabilia of Waterford…. everything but ( yet including) the kitchen sink.
Method In The Madness
Why do we go mad for free stuff? From my own of view, I guess it stems from the ”no such thing as a free lunch” notion, that it’s impossible to get something for nothing in this life. But when the opportunity arises, grab it and brave the queues.
If you the consumer are not paying for it, someone else is. And why not let it be them for once? Especially when you normally pay a substantial amount for it , be it petrol or burritos. This ties in with economics and ”opportunity costs”.
With this point, I can understand the queuing, but doing so for hours is something I just don’t think is worth it for the trivial things. You may not be paying in cash, but you are paying with your time. Again the ”free lunch” theory.
Like I said, I did queue up before, but it was a small line moving fast. For me it was that novelty of seemingly getting something for nothing. A once off. And I bought into it.
Have you queued for free or cut price stuff? Do you believe in it?