Hype

It’s a normal Friday night, I sit here, patiently waiting alone in the corner of McDonald’s for my brother to jio (also known as belanja or treat) me to an order of the hottest item currently trending on the menu in Malaysia — the Nasi Lemak Burger. I’ve heard of the legendary Burger a while back when it was trending in Singapore, but now that it’s officially in Malaysia, I couldn’t help but want to try it for myself.

Finally! After such a long wait.

I don’t want to spoil the experience for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet (unlike some insensitive people who keep spoiling Avengers: Infinity War by posting spoilers everywhere. I’m literally reading an obituary every time I open group chats), so I won’t describe my thoughts on the burger here.

After enjoying a hearty meal with my mom and my two brothers, I took a glance at the receipt. Holy moley! Two burgers for THIS MUCH? My usual order doesn’t even cost A QUARTER of what I’m seeing in front of me.

A student’s — on a tight budget — worst nightmare. Thank God I’m not in college yet. Love you, mom~ ❤️

Limited time menu items such as this have been a part of McDonald’s marketing scheme for decades. Prior to this, I’ve also tried the most recent Fish and Chips, the Thai Fish Burger and most of their various pies (I’m a sucker for pies. Bite me) including the not so well-received red bean or yam pies etc. Most of them tasted pretty good, if I might say so myself. The only similarity between all these items is this though: Their prices have been increased to at least 125% of their normal counterparts. In fact, they’d be more than willing to fork out their money to get their hands on “the latest trend” or “what everyone else is having”.

So, the question remains: Why do we feel inclined to buy limited time items? What’s all this hype about something new?

Marketing people — people who are studying marketing or are in the business know this golden rule of marketing: the scarcer the item, the higher the demand. It’s a psychological trick, but it works. People tend to want things they can’t obtain easily. We can’t help the way we think. It’s the human nature to want to get their hands on things that are not easy to get.

On a side note, here’s to all the single males out there: “Girls are like butterflies. Beautiful to watch, but damn hard to catch and keep for their own.”

I suggest that this phenomena has something to do with herd mentality. One sees what the other has, doesn’t want to feel left out, and since he is also capable of owning that particular thing, he’ll buy it for himself. Most of the time not considering the price too.Not because he likes it or anything, but its just so that he can fit in and do what all the “hip people” are doing.

My brother is a great example. He is a person whose hobby is another’s hobby. When I asked him why he likes video games so much, he said to me: “I dunno, I just follow what others do, it makes me feel included in their conversation.” He’s just an empty soul who is devoid of his own passion and zest in his life. (Sorry bro)

The same phenomena occurs in so many fields we see today. Like the latest VR wave. With the rise of AI technology and VR gaining popularity via platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, suddenly everyone wants in on this new technology. Most importantly, everyone is willing to shelve out big bucks for it too which in turn makes manufacturers of the gear all over laugh their heads off. This goes the same for the following examples: limited edition sportswear like Adidas’ Yeezy, or Mobile Legends’ limited time event skins, KFC’s Cheezilla and so much more.

“AHHH! Dinosaur alert! It’s coming closer and closer I can almost feel it… Oh, it’s just you, mom.”

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying following trends is a bad thing as I know not everyone feels inclined to buy limited edition items. So long as you’re happy with your purchase and feel good about making that decision afterwards, it’s totally fine.

Curious squad, where you at? You can also find out why people buy limited items and how to increase sales with this technique here.

Have a nice weekend, lovely Yolkers 🙋

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