Back in February, I had to visit the Clerk of Courts Office at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in Florida. While I was there I noticed a flier advertising the “Sensible Start Wedding Package” with a price point “less than $150.” You get your marriage license, the ceremony in the clerk’s specially decorated “Matrimonial Room”, a photography package and a commemorative wedding certificate.
While a wedding in a courthouse may not be the extravagant spectacular every little girl dreams of having, but in this economy, it may be all that one can afford. Someone in Clerk & Comptroller Sharon Bock’s office saw an opportunity to turn an everyday service they offer into a marketing piece placed in a prominent location and also featured on their website. If you’re thinking of tying the knot soon, your rings don’t have to be that expensive. There are affordable yet still stylish options, like those Mens tungsten wedding rings.
If a $150 wedding is not in your future, perhaps an affordable funeral is. It’s always good to plan ahead isn’t it? Well, while in town for Solid Cactus Boot Camp this week, a copy of the local newspaper had an insert in it from a local funeral home. The full color, glossy sheet promotes what they call their “Twilight Funeral Service” for a mere $2995.
For less than three-grand the dearly departed’s remains are placed in the best funeral covers or a cremation “container.” Plus you get the funeral home’s services a limited memorial service, a tribute DVD and some other things to make the people paying their final respects not think you’re cheap. Side two of the flier offers an upgrade from the “Twilight” package to the “Liberty” package for a grand more.
Now, I’m all about saving money, but advertising discounted funeral services is just, well, a little creepy. Granted we all die, we all need that “container” we get sealed into or that urn that holds our ashes, but do we need these things on sale? It’s just a bit strange to me to pick up the paper in the morning while I’m having my pancakes and get death thrown into my face before I finish my bacon.
Funeral homes are businesses just like the pizza joint on the corner or the dry cleaners in the strip mall down the street, but do they really need to advertise? It’s not like I don’t know where to take my loved ones when they breathe their final breath! And when that time comes am I really going to do some price shopping? Am I going to call three funeral homes, get a quote and pick the one with the best deal? I don’t think so. I’m going to entrust this “job” to the home who has “taken care” of loved ones who have gone before me.
Look, I’m an advertising guy, I’m all for exploiting a product or service in whatever way possible, but I just can’t come to grips with the “Funeral Sale.” But as long as I’m not at the beach when a plane flies overhead with an aerial banner promoting the $2995 “Twilight” package I can, well…. live with it.