The affection of automated birthday wishes

I love to get birthday wishes. The more, the better.

This year, I also got a dozen of messages from companies who got hold of my email address and decided to send me a birthday wish on behalf of their company. Some of these messages sounded really nice. Most of them includd a gift which I would only get when I would spend something in their favor first.

This made me think of something I read in Predictably Irrational, the book by Dan Ariely which I have referred to in earlier posts. There’s a chapter about the difference between the social and the market world. And how the two of them don’t go together very well.

These birthday messages are a nice example of this discrepancy. Every company wants to be your personal friend. They want you to be part of the family. So they send you a birthday card. With a gift. But none of my friends would ever try to offer me a gift in return for a favour. A gift is a gift. Period.

Now your computer generated messages seem all the more ingenuine to me. You think you show me you care, but in fact you show me just the opposite.

You let a computer do the talking and use my birthday as an excuse to make me spend more money at your company. Which basically means …

You don’t care.

If you want to be truly remarkable as a marketeer, if you want to be my friend, then give a gift.

I’ll love you even more for it.

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One thought on “The affection of automated birthday wishes

  1. David says:

    This is VERY, VERY important and informational to our team. Thank you for posting this article. We were looking for strategical ways to incorporate birthdays into our business and marketing and you, voice of the people, had given us the way.. Thank you soo much and Happy Belated.. If you are ever in NYC how about a free photo shoot on us?
    Hope all is well

    God Bless
    Charles David NYC
    Unique | Creative | Fresh

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