Taglines and Snake Oil Sales

"Stars and Stripes Forever" (sheet m...

“Stars and Stripes Forever” (sheet music) Page 1 of 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*The story I’m about to tell is true and did happen. A few of the “facts” and observations have been made up for comic relief only and have nothing to do with my overall point:
While standing in line at Stop & Shop yesterday, I was watching the lady ahead of me as she checked out. As she pulled out her checkbook, the young clerk asked her for one of those dollar charitable donations.
“Do you want to support our troops for a dollar?”
This was the best “tagline” I’d heard in quite some time. ( A “tagline” ,or sales pitch, is designed to get folks to donate money usually by representing an idea that is inhumane not to agree with it. An example would be, “Do you want to end childhood hunger?” Who doesn’t?)
The lady had started to shake her head “No”. Then, she looked at the girl and her head bobbed back and forth. The tag line was working. This poor woman came into the store for toilet paper* and black olives* and had been placed in a position (in front of others) of being UnAmerican! I suspected, also, that the bobbing of her head was from John Philips Sousa’s ~Stars and Stripes Forever ringing in her ears.*
At least five long seconds passed before she answered, “Why not?”
The clerk thanked her and handed her a sheet of paper. It was a complimentary store coupon given to those who “buy in”. It had some other writing on it that may have described the cause but I couldn’t read it from where I stood. The lady readjusted her check total and left.

I was next. While my few items were being processed, my mind was on the trustworthiness of charities (That you know very little about.) and their standing, just above politicians from Chicago.
The clerk asked me, “Would you support our troops for a dollar?”
“Sorry, I DO support our troops but I make it a practice not to donate to any cause when I don’t know how it is run and how efficiently my hard earned money will be used. I am in a hurry and suspect you cannot offer me that paper with more information unless I donate, anyway.”
(BTW-Second best way to separate people from their money, is to rush them.)
As the girl handed me my change, she whispered without moving her lips, “I don’t blame you one bit.”

That young clerk’s comment re-enforced my faith that our kids’ futures are in good hands…their own.

As I stepped out of the store, into a gorgeous Autumn day, I thought, “Affordable Healthcare Act, now there’s a great tagline.”

 

Footnote~  Ha! After thinking more about this, I realized if I were on the store manager’s payroll, I would be exempt from this whole process. Gotta love when examples keep on giving!

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