We tried to give away $5,000 worth of Christmas gifts.
It didn't work.
Over the last few days, we placed boxes full of gifts around various locales in Sydney. Then we checked on the boxes a few hours/days later. In short, very few people took the gifts.
By and large, the boxes were still full. Only one had been trifled with by a gang of teenagers who unwrapped everything and left the 'dud' gifts.
Was it our ghetto newspaper wrapping? Are we all so inundated with cheap stuff from China that we spurn gifts from strangers because we assume it's going to be junk? One lady in a Covid Marshall vest picked up the whole box--its current whereabouts are unknown.
One box may or may not have incited someone to call the fire department.
Here's the thing: either you all have really really good mothers who taught you darn well not to accept presents from strangers, or we are all living through an era with a colossal loss of trust. As a man who makes his living off of giving gifts to kids he's never met, I've never seen anything like it.
The knee jerk reaction to Covid was to isolate, to treat strangers as biohazards, to lockdown.
The merits of those measures may or may not be borne out in the future when we recognise the high cost of the breakdown of social trust and the rapid increase in risk aversion.
Our data is anecdotal. Indeed all data requires a story to interpret it. Our data leads us to believe:
The average Australian about town has:
- Too much crap.
- Too little curiosity.
- Too much snootiness to play along with our ingenious marketing stunt.
- Weird Covid fear that manifests specifically as being unwilling to riffle through cardboard boxes filled with presents.
That is lame, but that's okay. The elves can now afford to do a really nice thing for the small group of people who signed up. Stay tuned.