New and Improved Organic Locally-Sourced Hate


I’m an official selection at the Holy Shit I Went In The Cannes festival.

The “multiplier effect” is an economics term that means so much horseshit or some such. (Economics is the branch of sociology that specializes in humans fucking each other and not in a fun way.)

I’m here to tell you about the real multiplier effect.

It works a little something like this:

A store notices, perhaps even by accident, that products with a red dot sticker are selling slightly faster than non-stickered items.

The produces a sexual response within the store owners, but that’s a story I’m saving for another post. Click here to buy access to my premium content.

Breathlessly, the store owner’s pea-sized brain whispers, “Science!” Thus an experiment is born. More products get red stickers and the data is analyzed. Yep, they sell faster, too. (This is called an A/B split.)

Within 20 minutes every product in the store has been baptized with a red sticker of its own. Business people are not exactly known for their subtlety and restraint. Heh.

Have you ever seen a real-life example of this multiplier effect? You bet your goddamned ass you have.


You are shrewd. You are different. You are a unique and special snowflake. Welcome to my post, idiots.

Ever heard the word, “sale?”

Ever read a Yelp review?

Ever see a movie trailer where the film has “won” 42 different awards featuring laurel leaves?

Ever buy breakfast cereal with the word “new” on the box?

Ever peruse a restaurant menu?

Ever seen a grocery store shelf with items marked with colorful tags?

Ever notice that some concepts become absolutely meaningless when they are overused? Perhaps, long ago, there was even some truth there, but that was before the idiot masses co-opted the meaning in a crass, spittle-induced Pavlovian grab at your wallet.

Things tend be cyclical and all good things must come to an end. Overuse means dilution of meaning until the original power has been destroyed, but that’s okay. They’ll just roll out something else.

Think of it like a gerbil trapped on a wheel. The really fun part is when the same concepts come back around and we don’t even notice. What was once old has been made new.

What say you? What other other examples of the multiplier effect have you seen?

8 responses

  1. This is so very true of my previous employers. ‘Flash’ deals on products would emerge all the time, marking them out to be special and unique, even though in fact they weren’t new in the slightest.

    The best ones were the back to school deals. Products that were exactly the same as the previous year’s editions would be trotted back out and marked out as being brand new deals – the products were shite, the deals were shite, and yet they were lapped up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Give the people what they want, I guess!

      One of the best memories of my life is this: Walking through the grocery store and encountering a sign that said, “Price reduced by 25 percent.”

      Below, someone had angrily scrawled by hand, “You raised the price, idiots! This is more than it cost last week!”

      Obviously I didn’t buy any.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very thoughtful post. I don’t have any examples of the multiplier effects but it really pisses me off when our grocery store puts somethings on sale and then I notice other items prices have gone up. Do they we are that stupid that we wouldn’t notice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grocery stores are pieces of concentrated evil when it comes to the multiplier effect. Know that every time you walk into one it is all out psychological war on you and your wallet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do wish they required students to take a course in marketing or advertising flim flammery in school–or better yet, a course revealing the manipulation of such schemes. I’m sure I wouldn’t have fallen for the buy two, get 1/2 off a third nonsense quite so easily. Right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mindfulness is, perhaps, one of the greatest defenses we’ve got. And critical thinking, too. I don’t think they teach either in schools. They’re more interested in making sure students are ready to take their place on the assembly line and be good worker units.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Can you put a red sticker on my blog so I can get more readers? Will that make my blog better if I roll it out as “new and improved”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grand idea. “New! Improved! Bonus: No longer me!”


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