MoneySkills with Nelson Letshwene

Money & the psychology of money

Sense and Sensibility | The Commercialisation of our senses


sk7 (Photo credit: P^2 – Paul)

The senses. Given to humanity to navigate rugged planet earth. Before we evolved, they were larger than life. Big ears, big eyes, big hands, open nostrils and a rough tongue to handle uncooked diet. Then we evolved. Being presentable was redefined and beauty took over. Make-up for the eyes, nose jobs, hair to cover large ears, manicure, pedicure, and creams for the soft touch effects, and redefined job for the tongue.

We may have forgotten our origins and the power of our senses, but commerce never forgot. We are still largely motivated by our senses. They get us to act without much thinking. More often than not, our senses overcome our thoughts. You have a well constructed, well thought out budget plan, and when you enter the shopping mall, your senses take over the shopping experience, out goes your budget plan.

Any shopping mall you enter, there is a call to one or more of your senses. Your ears pick up sound waves of music that remind of way back when … and a desire to acquire that piece is activated, for posterity, of course!.  The perfume shop around the corner assaults your sense of smell and remind you of your lover, while the aroma from the food court activates hunger pangs that were otherwise asleep. The seemingly invisible blended colours make the mall seem natural while thy activate the buying instincts within you. The mood is just right, the music soft and appealing, the air filled with the scent of newness. You are invited by the sales person to just try it on, or just touch, which activates your sense of touch and make you feel good. You couldn’t possibly put it down, could you? The sales person might think you are broke, and we wouldn’t want them thinking that now, would we? Out comes the credit card and whoosh! Impulsive buying has been activated. Who can stop it now?

Finally you succumb to the hunger and you sit down to feast your eyes on the colourful menu that gets you to salivate even before you order your food.   Of course there are unplanned starters to get you started. Would you like to pre-order your desert? It’s Crème brûlée!  Before you know it, you are full and you are asking for the doggie bag to make room for the desert! Why did you ever order so much food when you were really not that hungry? Who is in charge? Your mind or your senses? Do you think or do you feel?

The goal of commercialisation is to get you to feel more. Follow your senses. Forget about your thoughts. Let the chemicals flow in your veins! Only afterwards, when the bills from the credit card company come, do you plead with your head to think of a plan to get you out! Again, we ask, who is in charge here?


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This entry was posted on May 13, 2013 by in Essay and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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