Supermarket promotional collectables. Who is the real target? Who should be getting excited by collecting these freebies? Is it the children?
After the first Coles Little Shop Mini Collectables, I thought I had learnt from my experiences. I felt I had gotten it out of the system. I wasn’t going to get sucked into the craze again. There was no way I would meet up with strangers to complete the collection. It was my first exposure to some clever marketing strategy. I was vulnerable and got caught up in the hype. Second time around, I was prepared. I had developed some immunity, or so I thought.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
As I stood in front of the supermarket in the blistering cold, waiting to meet a random stranger for a trade, I began to analyse my motivations for wanting to find the missing collectables.
Did I feel psychologically challenged? Was I subconsciously trying to beat the marketing team at their own game? The logical part of my brain realised that it was completely nutters to spend money on unnecessary groceries to get a freebie. So then why was that same brain justifying doing trades in the cold?
Sure, my daughter nags me to the point of insanity every time there is a promotion, but she does that with just about everything. So why didn’t I say no to the supermarket attendant handing me the freebie? Why did I take it, knowing that she would nag me for a complete set and I would feel compelled to help her?
I even found myself contemplating purchasing the rest of the collection in a bid to have the problem go away. I was tempted to revisit the strange woman from the previous promotion to buy the rest but my husband pointed out to me that it was cheating.
I don’t understand how it would be considered cheating. I’d be paying $2 per item, that’s a saving of $28 of unwanted groceries per collectable. Am I justifying again?
Instead of purchasing the rest of the collection, I decided to trade some leftover Woolworths Lion King collectables for the missing Coles Little Shop collectables. Yes, you read correctly. I completed the Lion King collection and started on the Little Shop. I must be certifiable.
Anyway, I placed an ad on Facebook’s marketplace and have met up with random strangers. Is that still considered cheating? Who is benefiting here? Me or the kids? Or supermarket bigwigs?
And what am I teaching my kids? Am I raising a bunch of self-entitled twats by short cutting the system? Is it better to have them open a package and learn that sometimes in life, you simply can’t always get what you want? Should I even care if it’s an incomplete collection? Shouldn’t the kids be the ones trading anyway?
Am I trying to be the fun parent? Am I trying to make sure that my kid doesn’t feel left out with her peers?
Who is this really for? It’s for the kids, right? Right?!
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
I’m due for another trade in front of the supermarket soon. I feel like I’ve missed the point of this whole exercise. I just don’t know what it is yet. Maybe by the time the next promotion rolls by, I’ll have finally discovered my purpose for collecting these freebies.
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