There is a psychological condition which is well-known to marketing managers. It’s called FOMO, and its symptoms are anxiety and a compulsive desire to buy all sorts of things, without stopping to think.
FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and it’s one of the best marketing gambits ever devised. It’s based on the sense of insecurity we suffer when we feel that we are going to be left out of something which everyone else has got, or is getting.
How does FOMO work? We see this ad in the newspaper or on TV. HURRY! RUSH! GOING FAST!! GET IT TILL STOCKS LAST!!!
This exclamatory command galvanises us into instant action. So much so that often we don’t even pause to figure out what it is which is being sold in such a hell-bent hurry.
We don’t pause to consider the incorrect grammar of the message which, rightly speaking, should be GET IT WHILE STOCKS LAST! not TILL STOCKS LAST!
Grammar koh goli maro. Let’s do bhaga-bhagi and get them stocks – never mind of what – are still tilling to last.
It doesn’t matter what is on offer. It could be anything from pant suits to paan masala, from automobiles to apps which let you to tune in to folk songs in 56 foreign languages.
If we’re made convinced that it’s in very short supply, and that everyone else in our peer group – friends, relatives, office coworkers – is getting it, and we’ll be the only ones without it, we run over ourselves in a stampede to go get it.
But perhaps the most persuasive use of FOMO is in politics. Come election time, political parties of all persuasion – and not a few with no persuasion other than the pursuit of power – use the FOMO factor to induce us with the promise of all sorts of goodies to come to RUSH TILL STOCKS LAST to the ballot box.
And when it’s all over, there are goodies. Except not for us. For after elections are done the promised goodies are subject to a different FOMO: For Our Mantrijis Only.
DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.