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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Paying to advertise for free!

My wife (Charlaine) and I were out shopping for a tracksuit for myself. Needless to say that I came away from the store with nothing and my wife came home with a beautiful turquoise blouse. Ok, it wasn't like that! We men always see women as shopping and spending a lot of money. However, in this case I noticed the blouse and thought that it would be perfect for Charlaine. I told her to try it on and she loved it.

However, that is not what I want to talk about. While we were walking through department stores, I noticed how many t-shirts and tracksuits had the brand's logo emblazoned on the front or back of the garment. It is either QuickSilver or Nike or some other top brand.

Then, to top it all, these brand names are extremely expensive compared to so-called "cheap" brands.

What I find so interesting about all these brand names and logos printed in large print on these garments, is that the companies that make the clothes that many children, and sometimes adults, just have to wear, pay enormous amounts to print media and television to advertise their merchandise.

However, they do not pay those gullible children and adults a dime for doing the advertising they do every time they wear those garments. In fact, these people that make you pay top dollar (rand) for those wanted outfits, get free advertising from the wearer of the garment and then do not think twice to rip them off with the next outfit.

Why should we, the individuals who wear the clothes, also advertise the clothes that we pay so much for.

I think it is time that we as the buying public should reconsider this free advertising and stop buying clothes that make us advertise freely for the brand and then still pay an arm and a leg for a piece of cloth.

People so much want to be in with the crowd that they would do unwise things like paying way to much for something. It is especially so when it comes to clothing. The fact is that many of these BIG brand names have conned the consumer into advertising their products, absolutely free!

Do people really think that they need to wear Billabong or Nike or whatever is the next hot brand name? The reality of it all is that these brands simply created the need for their clothing to be worn, where there was no need! People need to wear clothes, but do they really need to wear clothes that are ridiculously expensive just because there is some logo on them?

Every year all these brands just keep getting more expensive and people are stupid enough to keep buying because of some dumb sociologically driven need to belong. There is no problem with wanting to belong, but if one's sense of belonging is based on a logo printed on a piece of cloth, then is there really any belonging at all? A person may feel that he belongs, but in reality he does not belong and is wearing an expensive piece of cloth that advertises a company's clothes! That, indeed, is a very shallow idea of belonging. To think that one belongs because of the logo on a t-shirt is quite pathetic.

However, that is quite beside the point of the discussion here. The fact is that consumers have been conned into paying a lot of money to BIG brand names for a piece of cloth that does advertising for the BIG brand name for free!

I think that we, the consumers, must take this issue up with the BIG brand names and start charging them for the advertising we do for them almost on a daily basis.

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