Ask anyone that owns a payday loan company and they will assure that it’s a perfectly legitimate business model. Ask any Japanese whaler and he’ll tell you that hunting seafaring mammals is a perfectly legitimate business model which has a very tasty outcome. But not for the whale.
Anyhow, in the interests of fair play and giving businessmen their dues for entrepreneurial spirit in times of hardship, it has been agreed that it’s only decent to leave them to their ways. But I’m an evil bastard so – game on!
Ever wondered how you’re so easily hooked by payday loan adverts? If you’re easily led by the thought of going balls deep into debt then you can stop reading now.
If not, here are 5 ways that your mind is being toyed with in order to get you to sign on the dotted line…
You’re Scared Crapless of Scarcity
It’s an old tactic that’s been used to great effect for many, many years – the fear of scarcity.
Scarcity is a fucking monster lurking in the back of your mind. You know how it is: late Friday night and you’re watching bid TV through a haze of whisky. Suddenly, as if tipping their hat to your secret desires to rewind time by 25 years, the presenters produce the next item in the sale list – a replica raspberry beret (but not from a second hand store). But hurry; there are only 10 left!
The bids start to fly. The devil on your right shoulder has beaten your guardian angel senseless. Yes! It’s yours for the ‘princely’ sum of £50. Congratulations; your head may look like and feel like a pair of buttocks in the morning but your new beret will hide you shame from the world. Hold on… oh!
But why, for the love of all that’s sane, why? Because we’ve been engineered to respond to scarcity. When times get tough we horde and consume. It’s an animal instinct that we simply haven’t managed to rid ourselves of yet, and the payday lenders know it.
Every advert has some form of scarcity attached to it. Fail to grab this loan and that last minute holiday you just saw will be gone. Likewise, the chance to buy those hard to find ladies clothes that fit you manly frame will evaporate quicker than you can say, ‘Fudgeit! Too slow’ (I’m trying to cut down on my swearing).
We Need Something
“Needs” – What’s the first thing that springs to mind? A mildly psychotic partner who just wants to wrap their arms around your neck and never let go?
As humans we need many things: food, shelter, water. Not the slowly tightening embrace that really does mean that you’ll never be parted (because the gas supply is rigged – just in case you manage to break the death hug and make a run for it). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was created in 1943 and it addressed all those little things that humans require for survival which, incidentally, doesn’t include a ‘Thunder Stick’.
But the dirty, dirty tendrils of the payday loan companies are digging deep into your mind. Powerful words are used to communicate the need for your hearts desires, including the 17ft inflatable Marilyn Monroe-shaped bouncy castle you’ve wanted since your childhood days. But how do they do it? Simple – they don’t really focus on your survival needs.
It’s all about self-esteem and the desire to reach your full potential. Your desire for recognition and validation is a key part of human nature and the needs that drive us. Go on, be the first man in the street to legitimately say you spent the entire afternoon bouncing up and down on Marilyn. It’s a bit like being harpooned by your own ego – painful and more embarrassing than a ‘Bangkok rash’.
The Green Eyed Monster
Someone once wrote, “Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies.” Right!
Jealousy is a screaming beast that’s ready to take a screwdriver to an ex-lover’s car. It’s the monstrosity that lurks deep in a well of spite and venom, it’s mouth half-open, ready to spew acidic comments and bile on an otherwise sunny day. Hmm, I think I’ve got my point across.
If jealousy could be moulded in a vehicle to carry a message then it would probably look like a javelin-shaped express train headed straight for your frontal lobe. And that’s why it’s the perfect mechanism to get you to sign away a month’s salary.
Fortunately, the adverts don’t push the buttons too hard. Instead of picturing your wife running off with her rich boss (I’m assuming it’s because he’s a genuinely nice guy rather than being hung like a horse) more subtle images are used to slowly draw you in. Shots of a happy couple leaping through the sand dunes before retiring to their holiday villa for a night of hard, hard “adult time” will get your attention. From there on in, it’s only a matter of seconds before the chemical reaction in your brain produces the desired result.
Interestingly, the area of the brain that controls jealousy also registers pain which has led scientists to suggest that punching yourself in the face whilst watching a payday loan advert may reverse the desire to sign on the dotted line.
My Old Friend Greed
Greed – it’s one of the seven deadly sins that will land you in hell shouting, “Holy crap, how did I get here?”
Sure, there are 6 other bad boys that will have you gently sizzling over a flaming fire for all of eternity but none of those involve you parting with your money. Parting with the family jewels or your kneecaps is another matter altogether. Can a little greed really be all that bad?
Hell, yeah! This is one survival trait that’s had scientists scratching their arses in disbelief since the first healthy fast food meal resulted in what survivors had dubbed, ‘Fatmageddon’. Greed goes hand in hand with a visceral fear of scarcity. As soon as the lean times are over we’re built to consume until our jaws cramp and our intestines scream in pain. Worried? Don’t be, yet… that’s the best that can happen to you. Give a person enough food and they’ll grow, but not in stature and social standing.
To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with a little greed unless you’re really religious in which case that last piece of cake you sneaked onto your plate is your one way ticket to the Satan’s house of fun! We’re all a little greedy. If we weren’t there’d be no competition, no striving for a better salary to buy the house of your dreams or a sports car. We’d be duller than a Russian commissar’s regulation underpants!
And it’s greed that ticks all the boxes that send any payday lender into an orgasmic frenzy. You see, greed is one trait that’s easily manipulated. Food, holidays, new cars, plus size clothes – they can all be yours. All you have to do is punch your greed into top gear and before you know it you’ll be broke and probably on the verge of coronary thanks to your taste in expensive foods.
Do I really need to say any more? Only this, “Hurry, don’t miss out on the chance for a payday lender to make your life a misery – you won’t be disappointed.”