Nobody wants to miss out on a good deal. Discounts work because of FOMO.
The thrill of it is planted in the quick-stop spirited reshuffling of standard unit pricing.
In a 2for1 deal, pay whatever it is to get two things for the agreed cost of one.
Tempted eyes bounce between what’s in your pocket, the winning trade-off in front of you, and the ticking pressure to make a split decision.
This desire-driven toggle between the place you’re in and place you want to be is nimble and ultimately survivalist. The peripheral overtakes plain sight, transforming into double vision. In the summer of 2014, I went to Miami with a friend. There, at about 9:30 AM on the beach and on a weekday I cannot place, I spotted a diagrammatic picture of the 2for1. It was a pair of blonde, bikinied, pre-pubescent, identical twins.
They were enmeshed in a seemingly forgettable exchange - sharing a Diet Coke. But they didn’t just “share” a Diet Coke. They closely measured their consumption of the calorie-free soft drink, confirming equal sips by holding it to the bright of the sun, and ultimately tossed the nearly full bottle into the typical steel drum trash can you might see on a beach. Their bodies moved like a pair of synchronized swimmers.
It felt like the slow unpacking of a trigonometric equation. (sin)2 + (cos)2 = 1
Naturally, I psychologized the event.
One body substitutes for the other, equalizing the boundary between physically disparate identities.
Their common denominator was that Diet Coke, a consumable marketed as being nothing - “zero calorie”, “zero-sugar”, or just “zero”. It was the phantom umbilical cord that instantly, albeit temporarily, transcended their separation. It was an act of double vision.
I tried, but couldn’t will any more than what there was to see. Which, also, was really nothing.