The Saturation Factor

When it comes to the theme of excess this time of year, we're generally  talking about too many depressing, blatant consumer marketing gimmicks -- or too much promotional email. Or, too much play on a particular news story.  And we're digesting all this after having consumed too much turkey and stuffing over the weekend. Still,  as we pick our particular excess on which to reflect, we see the one clear thread: too much.

Not having read much email over the weekend, I knew I would have a particularly weedy mailbox to sort on this Monday morning. But, wow -- did it over-deliver. I was struck by the confluence of several types of excess all at once. Just a brief check-in before I hit the road back to New York City. Today, my volume can be sorted into four buckets:

1.    Email blasts announcing unappealing non-offer offers. These include the likes of "15% off Shipping" or "Free Shipping ." Or convoluted pricing constructs: "40% off a Single Item or 20% off Two Equally Priced Items." Are these things really counting as offers these days?
2.    Black Friday postmortems and a slew of Cyber Monday offers. All of these in one mailbox on one day is just icky. Add messaging like: "Week-long Cyber Monday Specials" or "Cyber Monday Part I." Is there really a consumer out there with the headspace to track and plan her shopping life against all this?
3.    Two to three "Agency Killer" articles. We can always count on "the agency model is dead" articles to crop up in any stack of excess. It's especially poetic to see this tired topic in a mailbox  already brimming with too much of everything.
4.    Friend requests from people I have not spoken to in over 20 years. You know how this goes down. Over Thanksgiving, someone either gets drunk and decides to reconnect with everyone on their long-lost list, OR a niece or nephew shows said person how to use Facebook -- and you are then a marked woman for friending at some point over the long weekend. I certainly maintain friendships with many people from high school, college, hometowns and more -- but it's the holiday resurfacing of the long-lost-for-a-reason that I find interesting. One of my favorites from this year: "I'm sitting here with Lost Lady Friend X, on my Facebook account. She asked me to find you. If you want to chat with her, here is her number in Tennessee." And some guy with a backward baseball cap with his face way too close to the camera is looking up at me. I can only assume this is her son. In a word: Nope. Not playing.

And, yes, on top of all this, there's also reams of entertainment news, photo bloopers and articles on the wisdom of social media. No one thread is all that awful; as with the above, they are only made excessive by their company in my mailbox. Yet out of everything that has come my way over the weekend to stack up in my inbox, here's the news I find most unfortunate: The beloved Leslie Nielsen has died. For me, that's the lead of the day. Rest in peace, Shirley, rest in peace



3 comments about "The Saturation Factor".
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  1. Darrin Searancke from Halifax Chronicle Herald, November 29, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.

    Thanksgiving or no Thanksgiving - friends come and go ... others track you down on Facebook and never interact with you again.

  2. Cathy Carrier from Ashland Indy Film Festival, November 29, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.


  3. Rita from FreshAddress, Inc., November 29, 2010 at 12:21 p.m. this is an important topic as we move to redesigning our new Year's resolutions! Excess purchasing, eating, email, news name it. I believe in precise and strategic targeting as preferred to massive saturation....but I never found Leslie Nielsen's career to be in any excess. RIP

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