It’s quite common to hear people at the checkout with their coupons ask, “I wonder what sign of the zodiac rules coupons?” With coupon redemption in the billions annually in the US, the very nature of the coupons is a mystery waiting to be revealed.
It’s a question of the Ages.
First, what is a coupon?
According to Dictionary.com, a coupon is “a portion of a certificate, ticket, label, advertisement, or the like, set off from the main body by dotted lines or the like to emphasize its separability, entitling the holder to something, as a gift or discount, or for use as an order blank, a contest entry form, etc.”
The word “coupon” has its origin in an old French word for “cut.”
So a coupon was something to “cut,” not something of value. A coupon could be a mere ticket or entry form rather than a marketing offer.
Oh, by the way, coupons are marketing.
Although the definition for coupon is broad, a Google search on the first coupon brings up a brand that sells 1.6 billion drinks of brown, carbonated sugar water (and other products) each day: Coca Cola.
Somewhere in 1887 or 1888, the new owner of Coca Cola, Asa Candler, decided to offer a “free sample ticket” for a glass of Coca Cola. Candler’s methods of distribution were magazines and mailings (very clever). According to Happy Money Saver, Coca Cola distributed 8.5 million tickets.
So let’s do the math. If I give away 8.5 million glasses of Coca Cola in the late 1800’s, at say, a cost of three cents a glass, I’ve spent $255,000.
Today, a century later, folks across the globe are drinking 1.6 billion glasses a day at the price of, say, $1 a glass. That’s 584 billion drinks a year for $584 billion in revenue.
That $255,000 was money well spent.
Candler was definitely shrewd, as the Happy Money Saver site describes.
Shrewd is a very accurate word to describe the sign of Capricorn, Candler’s natal sun sign. Moreover, Candler probably had his moon in the very competitive, driven sign of Aries. American’s Top Bankers have a strong Aries streak, which may help you visualize what this moon placement does for a businessman.
By today’s standards, you might call Candler’s chart the chart of a control freak. But control freaks are the ones with the drive and ambition to see a project from vision to implementation as evidenced from Candler’s extreme success.
While Candler was considered successful during his lifetime (1851-1929), think about what this man accomplished beyond the grave – he changed the drinking habits of an entire globe. That’s astounding.
He changed the world by offering a taste through a coupon.
What sign of the zodiac rules coupons?
The idea that coupons “save money” has always been suspect to me. Sure, if I planned to buy garbage bags for $7.00 and find a coupon to save a $1, I am spending less than I planned. In this case, I agree that I “saved” money.
The issue I’ve always encountered is that coupons are for items I don’t normally use, which is exactly what Candler and coupons are trying to achieve – a product stretch.
Coupons appear a generous reduction of your checkout amount, but are truly a shrewd mechanism to affect your buying habits. Coupons are trying to change you.
When I think of coupons, I think of Virgo, the most detailed of the penny-pinching earth signs (the other two earth signs being Taurus and Capricorn). Virgo also likes dotted lines and is the sign that produces carefully-clipped coupons to the cashier, not coupons torn from ads in the car right before walking into the store.
Virgo is also the sign, to me, most likely to have a shopping list and a spreadsheet which analyzes the annual household spend.
Virgo loves coupons.
But are coupons, in their essence, Virgo?
Virgo may suggest a thousand ways that you could improve whatever it is you are doing right now, Virgo isn’t forceful.
In honor of Candler’s super-human achievement, I think I’m going to stick with his sign – Capricorn – as the ruler of coupons.
Coupons are a way to control buying behavior and Capricorn, not Virgo, is about control. A coupon throws a wrench into your buying behavior – should I buy product A that I want or product B with coupon?
Coupons create guilt – if I don’t use a coupon, I’m wasting money.
Coupons create an extra variable in your shopping experience.
Coupons create cognitive dissonance.
Coupons are your Depression-era grandmother standing over your shoulder wondering why you would pay an extra dollar for Pop Tarts when the generic brand is perfectly fine.
Coupons ask “Are you really sure you should buy a $1 bag of rice when you can buy a box of Rice a Roni for 50 cents off?”
Coupons aren’t just Capricorn, they are Mars in Capricorn – Mars inserting Capricorn into your interaction with the row of pickle jars in front of you.
You can no longer simply buy what you want. You have to understand if you are paying too much, if you have a coupon, if you have a rebate, if you have a reward.
The interaction between you and the jar of mayonnaise is no longer about you and the mayonnaise – there is now a Greek chorus of coupons singing a hymn to your interaction.
It’s the coupon devil on your left shoulder (buy the brand you like without the coupon) and the coupon angel on your right shoulder (use the coupon, save money, who would spend so much on tea?).
If you were a coupon, what would you offer?
While a coupon may be a Capricorn, each and every coupon can provide a different sign-of-the-zodiac offer.
See how this works? The zodiac provides a spinning, interacting, multi-dimensional view of core energies. A coupon may be Capricorn, in that it’s trying to change your behavior, but the coupon could be any sign in HOW it tries to change your behavior.
There is a coupon inside of each of us.
Fire sign coupons
Fire sign coupons (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are not shrewd coupons. These coupons make an effort to generate excitement and in that excitement may give away too much in reduction. Fire sign coupons offer way more than they deliver (a non-stick pan forever!).
Fire sign coupons are bold and colorful, the ads in the Sunday paper (“Sun” day, ruled by the sun, by Leo). Fire sign coupons can be framed and hung on the wall.
Fire sign coupons have a sense of urgency – run to the store NOW or it will all be gone. Fire sign coupons rule Black Friday.
Water sign coupons
Water sign coupons (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) appeal to the emotions and might not have a clear benefit to the user. Water sign coupons donate a certain percent of your purchase to charity.
Water sign coupons remind you that you are buying local, buying organic. Your water sign coupon appeals to your sense of doing good rather than your sense of saving money (instead you are saving humanity).
Air sign coupons
Air sign coupons (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) have multiple offers as most of the air signs have a dual nature. Air sign coupons appeal to intellect – either 15 percent off one item or 20 percent off two items.
Air sign coupons make you think and provide a choice, which is great fun for Gemini and Libra. If there is no choice, there is no fun. If you see a person standing in the aisle deciding whether to buy shaved coconut or shredded coconut, you’re watching an air sign with choices.
Air sign coupons often have scratch off components to add to the sense of possibility.
Earth sign coupons
Earth sign coupons (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are the shrewdest of the coupons. They appear to give away a lot but there is a hidden component, or the beginning of an addiction (free cigarettes, anyone?).
Earth sign coupons give you free Internet service for a month but the small print indicates you must pay switching costs.
Earth sign coupons get you to buy a time share, a coffee club, something that binds you beyond the coupon.
Earth sign coupons, for example, might give away a free social networking service, collect all your information and then make money on your data (which earth sign would do that??).
Better use of coupons
Before using your next coupon, you might want to ask, “What sign in this coupon?” Understand your coupon as your coupon understands you!