How We Value Things (And Take Decisions)

The advertising agency J Walter Thompson used to set a test for aspiring copywriters. One of the questions was simple

Here are two identical 25-cent coins. Sell me the one on the right

One successful candidate understood the “ALCHEMY” and he said

I’ll take the right-hand coin and dip it in Marilyn Monroe’s bag. Then I’ll sell you a genuine 25-cent coin as owned by Marilyn Monroe.

I read this example in Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense. Since then I couldn’t stop thinking about the number of decisions we take every day that is NOT “Rational”.

Looking around my table, I find at least 3 items (an iPhone, an expensive pen, and a blender) that I got because they make me feel a certain way. Logically, I could live with a more economical option.

But what explains these purchases? No data would tell you!

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash