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|Sitting on her front porch swing, Helen watched while a shiny, new Ford SUV navigated around the various delivery trucks on her suburban street. The poor driver was having quite a time. Since all her neighbors went nuts about two weeks ago, the road was an obstacle course. The deliveries had started with just one truck on the first day, rising exponentially each day after. Now nearly every driveway and curb space had a parked vehicle. Some of the vehicles were UPS trucks delivering Amazon boxes. Some were furniture trucks dispensing refrigerators, mattresses, or sofas. Others were cooling and heating trucks, window replacement companies, or bathroom remodeling outfits. She was amazed at the volume of purchases all of her neighbors were making. Helen's eyebrows shot up when the SUV pulled into her driveway. She was not expecting anyone to visit. Oh, my, she thought, as she watched the driver get out of his car. He is a nice sight for my old eyes to behold. The young man wore a black polo shirt and khaki slacks, and it looked to her like he must lift weights. Unaware of her action, she pulled some of her loose gray hair behind an ear.
“Hello, I’m with Excellent Communications. We show a Helen Polk lives here. Would that be you Ma’am?”
“Yes, it is. Would you like to join me here on the porch?”
“No, Ma’am. I’ll be quick. We show you upgraded your cellphone recently and have not activated the facial recognition feature,” he said.
“Oh, my grandson did something to my phone the other day. Maybe he did an update, but I don’t have much use for a facial recognition app. I don’t even know what the feature is for.”
“I’m here to help you activate it. It is a service we provide free of charge. May I see your phone?” he asked holding out his hand palm up.
Helen started to speak then hesitated. Rebellion rose in her. “I don’t think I want to. I’ll never use it.” The young man did not move. He just kept his hand out. Irritated she said, “As a matter of fact, I know I won’t use it.
He stepped up onto her porch and went into her house letting the screen door slam behind him.
“Hey, what are you doing? Get out of my house,” Helen called out, and followed him into her living room. He held her phone up to his face, having found it where she had left it on the end table beside her recliner. His fingers poked and swiped and in a matter of a few seconds he held it still before his face.
The cellphone said, “Mark Williams recognized. You need to buy a case of Pepsi.”
“Acknowledged,” Mark said. He then held the phone up so Helen could see the screen.
The cellphone said, “Please state your name.”
Mark said, “Helen Polk.”
“Confirmed,” replied the phone.
“Helen, you are now in compliance," Mark said. "I apologize for the intrusion.” Handing Helen her phone, he said, “Have a nice day,” and walked out, once again letting her screen door slam.
Stunned, Helen looked at the phone in her hand. She felt like a scolded child forced to make her bed. How humiliating. Why would a phone company be so aggressive? As she looked at the phone it said, “Helen Polk recognized. You need to buy a big screen TV from Bob’s Home Furnishings.”
Helen thought, I need to buy a big screen TV. But she said, “Acknowledged.” Feeling a bit disoriented, she looked around the room. Was I talking to someone? She couldn't quite remember. Had she been sleeping standing up? Oh, dear. I hope I'm not having a stroke. Noticing her TV, she thought, stroke or not, my eyes aren't what they use to be. I need a big screen TV. Yes, I definitely need it. I must go right now to Bob’s Home Furnishings. Strange, I don’t usually shop there. It’s so far. Clear on the other side of town. No, I have a good feeling about this. It must be Bob’s Home Furnishings. Smiling from ear to ear, Helen went shopping.