Okay, this is weird! You know how people often say to health care workers, "Ee-yew! I could never stand to do your job!" And when they say that to us, we think, "What? It’s not that bad. I like it!" I know that business is business and that whatever business you are in seems normal to you, seems fine and dandy. But I was just on a funeral home website and I noticed a page titled "Memorial Gifts." I thought I would look at it. I thought it might be the page where you ordered a CD with the photo slide show.
The page that opened was titled "Hot Deals!" Woo-hoo! I love a hot deal. On special this week, for internet customers only, were three caskets just in time for summer. I felt a little shocked. I think it was the "Hot Deals" that got me. But then I thought, ‘well, caskets are very expensive. It’s nice that there are some on sale.’ So, I clicked on one.
"This beautiful laminated pine casket echoes a bygone era with old fashioned, country-style charm! Lined in luxurious ivory Capri Crepe, mourners will be sure to admire the simple elegance of this handcrafted beauty! Flat topped and gasketless, it is perfect for cremation or earth burial. Say ‘good-bye’ the way Grandpa did with simple, homespun quality and beauty."
I know it just seemed odd to me because I am not used to thinking about casket styles, lining material, gaskets, that type of thing. That’s the business they’re in, and a necessary one. When you need a casket you want a nice looking one, one that reflects the sensibilities of your family and your dearly departed. They are providing a service. They’re proud of it. And it is a nice looking casket. For a casket. Then I looked at the price. Wow. It was marked down several hundred dollars. So, it was nice looking and a bargain. My eyes traveled on down the page. There was the familiar "shopping cart" bar. And a drop down menu for the quantity. At that price, why not stock up? And better hurry, while quantities last!
I had a giggle. Nice to have a giggle, because they’ve been kind of scarce around here lately. Business is business, no doubt about it. It was just the enthusiasm, the catchy phrasing, the quantity option and especially the "Hot Deals" that kind of caught me off guard. Nothing wrong with it. But it kind of made me wonder what other kinds of businesses might have similarly enthusiastic advertising. I imagined a website for assassins. "New this season, and just in time for your springtime killing spree! You will enjoy the smooth action and seamlessly simple reloading. gloss or matte finish to compliment your Easter Bonnet, this little gem will make your friends "Ooo" and "Ahh" with envy. Classic lines and an elegant design at a price you can’t resist, choose the quantity you desire and, as always, gift wrapping is free!"
How about a site for dentists? "Get to the root of the problem in half the time with this high-tech, diamond bit beauty! Your patients won’t even have time to shed a tear. Waterproof, stainproof, and with an optional holster available, this is one deal you will not want to pass by. The newly improved motor has a much softer screeching, blood-curdling whine so that your whistling will be more easily enjoyed by your customers and co-workers. Order today!"
Maybe there is a site for nannies. "Twinkle, twinkle little taser . . . we all know that self-control is one of the most difficult lessons for a nanny to teach. Well, accelerate that learning curve! Your little sweeties will never know what hit them! Slim design for discrete carrying and just in time for the end of school! And remember, none of our products are tested on animals. We care about you and we care about the Earth."
Marketing is an ubiquitous part of our lives nowadays. Maybe I should give up nursing and pursue a career in advertising. Maybe I could get an assignment for a hospital. I could write an ad for their new Code Team. "It’s summertime and the living is easy! Asystole got you down? Well, let us put a little bounce in your flatline with our newest service. You’ll never be "blue" when your rhythm is new. Sign up for sinus – sinus rhythm that is! And this week only, your second code is half price!"