Friday, May 23, 2008


"I believe the cost of life is Death,
and we will all pay that in full.
Everything else should be a gift.
We paid the cover charge of life,
when we were born"

Ok, I just needed a good quote to go up there, since Wiki has NO QUOTES for psychology. That, I think, is an interesting take on psychology: the largest single repository of human-powered knowledge doesn't have anything to say about the science of the human mind.

But no, this post is about Bill Hicks' favorite psychological topic, advertising. In particular, psychological irrational pricing. I will explain... no, there is too much. I will sum up:

According to a 1997 study published in the Marketing Bulletin, approximately 60% of prices in advertising material ended in the digit 9, 30% ended in the digit 5, 7% ended in the digit 0 and the remaining seven digits combined accounted for only slightly over 3% of prices evaluated.[1] In the UK, before the withdrawal of the half penny coin in 1984, prices often ended in 99½. This is still seen today in petrol (gasoline) pricing ending in 9/10's of the local currency's smallest denomination, for example in the US the price of a gallon of gasoline almost always ending in US$0.009 (i.e. US$3.289).

You get it? All right, I'm sure everyone gets it.

What I don't get is, why does this still work? There's no psychological or economical reason for this anymore. Why is my gas $1.359 per litre? Why is my cereal $4.89? For that matter, why is the DeWalt kit I want $299.99? Does that extra penny saved by the retailer really mean that they sell 30,001 kits, instead of 30,000? Is there really one person out there who sees the $299.99 and thinks "Wow, that's a good deal! If it was a penny higher, I wouldn't buy it!"

If there is, can we find them and slap the fuck out of them?

By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing,
kill yourself.

Advertising is the only productive field of psychology left today, and it's only productive because the average IQ of the nation is being forcefully kept low just so advertising will have someone to work on. The second people start thinking rationally, the moment people start really seeing the world around them, the instant mankind thinks there might be something bigger in the world than television, advertising would cease to be relevant.

Which is why advertising will never die.

Seriously, though. If you are, do. No, really. There's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, okay? Kill yourself. Seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No, this is not a joke, if you're going: "There's going to be a joke coming." There's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked, and you are fucking us. Kill yourself, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself.

Planting seeds.

I know all the marketing people are going: "He's doing a joke." There's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend – I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking machinations.

I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too. "Oh, you know what Bill's doing? He's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart." Oh man. I am not doing that, you fucking evil scumbags!

"Oh, you know what Bill's doing now? He's going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. Lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research. Huge market. He's doing a good thing." God damn it, I'm not doing that, you scumbags. Quit putting a goddamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!

"Oh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill's very bright to do that." God, I'm just caught in a fucking web.

"Oh, the trapped dollar. Big dollar, huge dollar. Good market, look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar …" How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don't you?

"What did you do today, honey?"

"Oh, we made arsenic childhood food. Now, good night. Yeah, we just said, you know, is your baby really too loud? You know … yeah, the mums will love it, yeah." Sleep like fucking children, don't you? This is your world, isn't it?

YouTube it, motherfucker.

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