sly : marketing

Why I Gave Money To A Beggar


I have a quite interesting story to tell you, it’s about a beggar and the city of Gothenburg.

This weekend, my wife and I visited Gothenburg, a beautiful city in Sweden. On our first night out, we walked on Avenyn, the most famous street. That’s the place where the coolest night clubs are, and some really awesome restaurants are located. There are always a lot of people on this street, and on friday night it was packed.

What was different now, than from what I remember from my last visits, was that there were a lot of beggars litterary sitting on this particular street.

It didn’t look like they were very successful with their missions, because not many people gave them any money. People didn’t seem to notice them.

I did notice. I studied them, I studied all of them.

I didn’t plan to hand over my money, mostly because I’ve read that beggars in Norway and Sweden are organized, and by handing them some of my money, I would actually be helping organized crime. Well, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s not really my point and that’s not what’s interesting about the story.

I didn’t plan to hand over my money, untill I noticed this one guy.

Begging is marketing.

This guy was sitting on the street, just like all the other men and women. Everything about him was identical; his age, the clothes, his location, the sitting posture, everything but one thing.

He had a sign.

He was the only one that held a sign. It was cardboard, white, with black letters. The text wasn’t important, because his message was the sign. He had made an effort, explaining why he needed the money. He was unique. He was the purple cow of beggars.

I didn’t read the sign. I gave him money just for being different.

Photo: crispulo

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