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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

A Little Bit of This and That.....

A little bit of this,

This week marks the 3rd Anniversary of the Prayer Room in the Mission Thrift Store here in Gr. Prairie – woohoo! What a privilege, what an honor to be able to come alongside others as they have a need. Who ever would have thought 3 years would seem like such a short time!

Today I prayed for 2 people and while that might seem like a small number to you – it was huge to them and to me because they were each in desperate situations and I was so glad to be there for them.

Prayer, the language of heaven. God assures us that He hears and answers every prayer we make, He could answer with a yes, a no or a wait, but He hears and answers them all.

A little of that,

Farm news: we acquired 19 Muscovy ducks this weekend. Why? The price was right and we thought we would give it a try. Duck eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs, they are bigger than chicken eggs and these particular ducks are also raised for their meat.

It was quite the adventure rounding them up from their old home, placing them into the box of our truck (with a cover) and then unloading them from the truck box to their new home. These are full size birds and the males are BIG – up to 15 lbs each so it meant taking one bird at a time. Only one escaped and it was me that screamed and was to scared to grab it quickly on it’s way by, I mean he was big, okay? So off it went with me and my brother-in-law chasing it through the snow and the trees. He would go one way, I would go the other hoping to cut off the duck and grab it. I am sure this is the time when people wished we were filming but it did not happen, sorry. My brother-in-law unfortunately fell and so the duck appeared to be getting away and then Brian did the incredible thing of letting Mocha the dog get into the chase. I was horrified thinking Mocha would eat the duck. However, it was a thing of beauty – Mocha ran after the duck and when she got close, she pinned it down and sat there holding the duck still, no biting, just basically sitting on it’s wings. She sat there so pleased with herself until Brian went over and simply picked up the duck. I wish I could say, I trained her to do that, or even that I had anything to do with that – but I did not. Her instinct on what to do was totally a built-in thing and we were all stunned, glad but stunned. Mila the puppy on the other hand was prancing around and running here and there, not really sure what to do, totally being a puppy.

I will keep you posted on the duck adventures as I am sure there are more to come, right now we are acclimatizing them to their new home.

More of this,

Update on the illegal China Police stations in Canada that I reported on several months ago. Please click on the link below to read more from One World International about this and what you can personally do to stand up and hold our government accountable. He also mentions the fact that China has had a hand in Canadian elections.

The head of One World International is a Godly man who has used his influence and abilities as a lawyer and freedom fighter to rescue people in dire and unique situations. He knows about this, he was born in Egypt, became a lawyer and then became a Christian. He was promptly put into jail and tortured repeatedly because of his religious beliefs. They finally deported him from the country to Canada. He now rescues others, including many women that were held as sexual hostages in the middle east and reports on situations that are a cause for alarm. I have met this man and heard him speak in person several times. He is the real deal.

And lot more of that,

How on earth would any of these things be connected?

I did marketing for many years and I love it, the thought process of trying to figure out how to keep thoughts into a person’s mind, or why do people shop like they do, how can you alter their shopping?

When I looked at these 3 topics I wrote about, I saw a bit of a pattern. Marketing works by what is called “top of mind”, basically what can a company do to keep their product in the “top of someone’s mind”. When it comes time for a person to need a product, how do you get your product to be the one their mind remembers? Marketing.

There are a few tricks in the trade some obvious and some not so obvious and some downright devious. It takes seeing something 13 times for that message to be remembered. Billboards are a perfect example of in-your-face marketing. You drive by the same billboards often hundreds of times, often oblivious to the message. But of those hundreds of times, you only need to concentrate on the ad 13 times to have the name stored into your memory. Genius right?

The prayer room for instance, the idea behind the concept is that with the Prayer Room being in the public space of the store, people shopping and walking by see and read the sign or hear the announcements made and remember that when they have a need or a burden, come to the Prayer Room. They see it each time they are in the store and the concept becomes less intimidating for repeat customers to come and seek us out. The Prayer Room advertises itself, it does obvious marketing while reminding people that God is in the business of prayer.

The not so obvious marketing strategies have been around a long time, as well as the devious ones. Perhaps the only difference in these 2 is the content of their advertising.

Take the illegal Chinese Police stations that opened up in countries all over the world. Many of the countries have shut these down and deemed them, rightly so, as illegal and improper. Canada’s government has chosen to ignore them. Each time you hear about China, you remember the name, you remember the country. China becomes a word that is used almost daily in our media, a word you will not soon forget, much like climate change and “smart”, like smart phone, smart tv, smart cars and soon all you will hear about is “smart cities”. Did you know that the more you hear about something the more your mind starts to consider that it is “okay”. It becomes “normal”. Even when China is doing something negative, their name is being tossed around and your mind remembers it, eventually placing it into your “top of mind” position.

How does the duck story fit in? A story format is a very powerful tool in marketing, because stories create feelings and feelings are remembered. The best ads are the ones that make you “feel”. This is the same reason Jesus was the number 1 marketer of the ages, He taught with stories, because stories make you feel and when you “feel”, you remember. Trust God to know how to do marketing well….

So, what would be classified as less obvious and devious in the marketing world? Did you know that both facebook and messenger have “hidden message” features. Why if you are communicating with only one other person on facebook or messenger do you need a “hidden secret message” feature – because all your other messages are not “private”. Were you aware of this?

One of the things you may have heard about that is now illegal is called “back masking”. This was used way back, in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, I learned about it in the 80’s when music groups often put a hidden message in their songs. When you played the music backwards, there was a distinct message in their lyrics. I heard these messages in the music of Nazareth, Queen, but other rock groups like The Beatles and Led Zepplin also used it. One song definitely said, “I want to smoke marijuana” over and over. You never heard this line, it was hidden, but your brain is so sophisticated that it picks up the forward and the backward message. Your brain was bombarded with negative messages that you had no idea about.

The other type of sub-conscious advertising is on tv and now in movie theatres. A commercial will flash a hidden message on the screen so fast that your eye would not catch it, but your brain totally caught it. It is called a subliminal stimuli. Devious? Yes. Does it work? Yes.

And then there are the subliminal messages, messages that contain another hidden message in it, often this is used in a company’s logo. While looking at a logo your brain is catching the hidden message as well.

There are many logos to chose from, some harmless, some not so much.

Look at Wendy’s logo: Look for the word Mom in the girl’s neckline. Thought to convey the message that Wendy’s was food just like “moms”.

How about the Amazon logo with the arrow. First glance it looks simple, but the arrow is strategically placed on the a and the z – pointing out that Amazon has everything you need from A to Z.

Love this one: The Bronx Zoo

Check out the legs of the giraffes – the Brooklyn skyline is outlined in the legs.

Baskin Robbins serves 31 flavours of ice cream – did you spot that in their logo?

What is the first thing that your mind sees in this photo of Magnum Ice Cream Bars? I bet it was not ice cream. Do you think they positioned them like this on purpose…..? Of course they did.

Sex sells, in case you had not figured that out, it is why the sexy girls sell cars in tv ads.

The Magnum ad is in the same league as Gilbey’s Gin where the word “sex” is spelled out in the ice cubes. Your brain picking up gin and sex simultaneously linking the 2 together.

In Australia in the 1980’s Coca Cola had quite an inappropriate ad campaign “feel the curves” was the slogan and hidden in the ice cubes of a glass was a picture depicting a sexual act.

Benson and Hedges cigarettes used a body part in an ad that looked at first innocently like a man simply hugging a woman but there was more in that picture.

You get the message – everything you see, hear and read does not always appear to be what it is, but simply because you do not “know” that hidden messages exist does not mean they are not headed straight into your brain.

The song we learned as children, "Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little eyes what you see...." seems to be fitting for the world of advertising.

Marketing is a craft to be honed, a tool to be used and hopefully not abused but honestly, in some cases it would be hard to see if it is marketing or indoctrination.

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