Everyone is always extolling the value of a Wharton M.B.A., or an acceptance to the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, or a Johns Hopkins medical degree. But I believe that Americans may be overlooking what is undoubtedly the greatest gathering of brainpower in higher education today: the Target School for Those Who Wish to Market to Suckers.
Surely you have seen the school crest. Here, take another look:
SAMPLE COURSE DESCRIPTION #1:
Psychology 300: The Power of Suggestion (cross-listed as Hypnosis 101)
At the Target School for Those Who Wish to Market to Suckers, students learn that No never really means No. Sure, a customer may believe they are visiting the store simply to buy a throw rug and cotton balls; we know better. During this course, students will learn to pair hypnosis (note: see swirly bulls-eye logo) with product placement, culminating in a final exam on the Bargain Bins. Course mantra: No one thinks they need candy-corn-emblazoned dishtowels, BUT EVERYONE DOES.
SAMPLE COURSE DESCRIPTION #2:
Engineering 200: Mazes Are Not Just for Mice (aka HIDE THE PAPER TOWELS)
A key philosophy at the Target School for Those Who Wish to Market to Suckers is as follows: The stuff they need is behind the stuff they want. In this course, students will examine physical methodologies for subliminally changing minds. Example: If Customer X needs paper towels, she will first need to walk by pet Halloween costumes, cute fall totes, and ridiculously well-priced lip gloss before reaching paper goods. During the length of this walk, she will suddenly realize that, besides paper towels, she also needs one pet Halloween costume, two cute fall totes, and five tubes of lip gloss. And perhaps a pet.
SAMPLE COURSE DESCRIPTION #3:
Chemistry 400: Those Who Forget Always Return (prerequisite: Toxicology 100)
The recent U.S. recession has forced even the most spendthrifty of customers to become more fiscally savvy. This course instructs students on the fine art of weakening budgets, focusing on the use of the as-yet most successful product of the Target School for Those Who Wish to Market to Suckers: Forgetfulness Spray. Dispensed as an invisible mist onto customers as they leave the store, Forgetfulness Spray prevents consumers from remembering that it is humanly impossible to visit Target and spend less then $100.
I’d share more, but I lost the rest of the list. I bet it’s under my candy-corn dishtowel. I’ll search my cute tote and get back to you.