No more junk mail? August 18, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: advertising, direct mail, junk mail, the demise of junk mail
Silence Dogood here. I wandered out to give our black German shepherd, Shiloh, a bathroom break and to pick up our mail about an hour ago. There was exactly one letter in the mailbox, from our bank for our friend Ben. Hmmm, I thought, there’ve actually been almost no pieces of mail in the box for about a week, just bills, the occasional magazine, and a political circular. Whatever happened to junk mail?*
Not so long ago, you couldn’t open the mailbox without bazillion pieces of junk mail practically exploding out into the road. Like everybody, we hated the nuisance of it, though at least we were able to put ours to good use by starting fires with it in our fire pit or shredding it for chicken bedding. But, come to think of it, the quantity of junk mail has been decreasing for some time, from the previous flood to barely a dribble. (I guess it’s easier to see something when it’s there than to realize when it’s not there, unless it’s something you’re looking forward to, so it took me longer than it should have to pick up on this.)
Cynic that I am, it’s hard for me to imagine that advertisers have simply given up trying to persuade people to buy stuff they don’t want, don’t need, and have never even thought of in their lives. So I’m guessing they’ve just opted for other media. Certainly there’s no shortage of ads online, and I assume TV is as consumed by commercials as ever. But are there other venues I’m missing? Do Facebook and Twitter have ads? Where are these guys going?
Then again, maybe these ad guys have sophisticated spy—I mean, data retrieval—systems that have clued them in that OFB and I aren’t exactly the financial equivalent of Warren Buffett, or even Jimmy Buffett, and they’d be wasting their postage trying to persuade us to buy something we don’t desperately need. (And if we desperately need it, we don’t need a piece of junk mail to tell us about it.) So readers, what about it? Are you still deluged with junk mail? And if not, where are all those ad dollars going?
‘Til next time,
* And yes, I do consider political circulars to be junk mail, along with all solicitations. But there’s at least a slight distinction between selling a person, an ideology, or a nonprofit/charity—i.e., seeking votes or contributions—and selling a product or service.