I like The Great Courses, I really do. A couple years ago when I was doing a lot of driving, I used to listen to them fairly often; they’re interesting, they get really enthusiastic and excellent teachers, and the topics are pretty diverse.
Too bad they’ve joined the war on authenticity.
Clearly the idea is to fool me into thinking that it’s a hand-written letter from a human – not just any human – their CEO – and therefore I should open it and read it. Look how the return address label is just slightly crooked, as if it were applied by a human. The “handwriting” on the address and the postage are perfectly straight, though. The blue ink makes it look somewhat more hand-signed. Fake, fake, fake, fake…
The subtext of this packaging is “don’t just throw me away!” But it’s a con; it’s inauthentic. It guarantees that not only will I throw away anything I ever get from the great courses (unless it’s an actual handwritten apology from their marketing person) but I’ll probably never bother checking their website again, either.
I wonder what was in it? Maybe a discount certificate? Or money? It’s trash.
I have actually gotten glossy printed catalogues from the great courses, and have flipped through them and bought stuff. So the glossy marketing that was clearly glossy marketing: that worked!! It says “Hey! You bought from us before! Now here’s new stuff you can buy!” What an authentic message that was.