11 December, 2008

marketing at its finest

starting things all over again is never an easy thing to do. but when it comes down to the point where you can't help to think "okay, this is it. we need to move on" then it's fair to say that changes are inevitable.

having initially planned to move to Liverpool, we had a change of heart at the last minute after a successful day trip with the letting agency in Leeds. the letting agent showed us few options of flat in Leeds, as well as promoted what a cool city Leeds is. a pretty persuasion and it worked well on us. here we are now, living in one of the largest financial and legal centres outside London and a place where some of Britain's contemporary bands originate: Embrace, Kaiser Chiefs, and Pigeon Detective to name a few.

having spent a fair few weeks roaming around the city centre, what struck me most from the city is that this city is like Mecca for shopaholics who seek a decent pilgrimage place to go. if you want to throw your money down the drain for shopping, there's no need to look for another place. after having fallen into the trap of consumptive behaviour in my first weeks in this city myself, i retracted and tried to put things into perspective.

now that christmas is literally knocking on the door within few weeks, streets are even more packed with people carrying shopping bags, wandering around and thinking what sort of stuff they can buy for christmas presents for their dear ones.

i, myself, can't help to ponder how people actually perceive christmas in this country. a few hypothesis came across my head. the most obvious one is that it is one of those occasions where you actually spend quality time with your family. you can say that the equivalent event like christmas in Indonesia is Eid Mubarak for Muslims.

i actually quite like the idea of people buying presents for their endeared one. what puzzles me sometimes is the question whether it really is necessary for people spending so much money buying presents.

i am of the opinion that christmas is nothing but a perfect event for companies to sell their products. there is nothing wrong with that. right or wrong is perhaps irrelevant anyway. what more important is that people should be more aware with this and simply not fall into the trap of such marketing strategies. i keep saying to myself, this is a perfect example where a 'religious event' can be exploited to a certain degree.

a rather similar example with such 'exploitation' is when Muslims do their pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. almost three million people around the world go to Saudi Arabia to do their pilgrimage every year. a fascinating number indeed. more importantly, a really good income for the Saudi Arabian's government. why bother to fight for oil in Middle East if you can collect billions from these people every year?

i keep getting told off by my girlfriend for being so cynical about christmas. although she's never bought the idea of religion herself but she's always got a soft spot for christmas, in the same way like me and Eid Mubarak. why she can always be critical when talking about religion in general and not about christmas, i will never know. having said all of that, i am trying to stay positive and enjoy the experience. who knows i might not live long enough to witness my next christmas?

No comments: