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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Does “exclusive” even matter anymore?

Easy Yankees fans, the Hollywood script will be finished in Game 6. (Storied franchise with embattled third basemen who previously caved in the fall like the Mets cave by June, helps lead the team to the World Series in the first year of their new stadium, eventually lifting the team to victory. Yea drama!)

But this ain’t about that. Out of the countless PR releases I have sitting in my inbox from the past few weeks, one jumped out. All it said was:

“Borders® is Exclusive Book Retailer for the ‘2009 New York Yankees Postseason Media Guide’.”

While I could care less if the Yankees win or lose, the idea of this book “only” being available via Borders and Waldenbooks in the Tri-state area and on felt less like an exclusive and more like an inconvenience.

In effect, exclusivity is now taking a backseat to availability, because while I may never buy that book, I want to know I can, wherever and whenever I feel like it.

Seems like now it’s become a case of: I don’t care if it’s limited edition—I want it. That logic is a little twisted, but, don’t people now expect to be able to get what they want just because they saw it somewhere on Google?

It’s out there, so it must be available, right?

Sure I can order it through the website, but I already have an Amazon account I like using for books. We’re getting so used to having options for everything, that the idea of something exclusive feels like a negative, especially if it means limiting the choices we have to acquire it.

To a lesser degree the “Official Sponsor” tag enters into it here, but that’s less about exclusive and more about piggybacking onto a major sporting event (like the Super Bowl or the Olympics).

Sure, exclusive means something. But not if I can’t get it.

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