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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

lottery - sales promotion - advertisements and broken promises .. Marketing World

Joy and JaniMeraNaam – does anyone remember them.  In mid 1970s -  chiclets, a type of candys hit the market.  Two of those brands were ‘Joy’ and ‘Janimeranaam’- costing 5 paise each.  The sales roared not because they were so good to eat, more because of the scheme – everytime, one opened the cover, there was a no. printed – one has to collect them in serial [of three eg., 3,4 &5] and some nos. individually were given pre-set prizes of notebooks, pens and the like.

Most of us were attracted to some form of gambling – in the neighbourhood small shop [nairkadai !], numbers concealed in a random manner, would be hung on a cardboard scheme.  You pay 5 or 10 paise, pull out one and depending on the number, you might get prizes ranging from a Rupee to Ten rupees and some items like spoon – hung in an eye-catching manner on the cardboard itself.  There were rankling doubts on whether anyone ever won that at all – those cardboards would change frequently showing that so many have tried their luck on it. 

There was a time when you would find so many shops and agents selling lottery tickets, especially in important bus stops.  There were so many lottery schemes run by various State Govts, especially from North Eastern States.  While these lotteries offered Crore and more – there also existed ‘single no. lotteries’ – where people would scratch to see the number printed – some were so addicted that they would stand before the shop, keep scratching till they lose their month’s salary.  In 2003, the then Ms Jayalalithaa Govt banned sale of all lotteries, including online, within the territory of the state. It was a measure of great relief for many !

Away from lotteries, there are many sales promotion techniques.  People are offered gold and silver coins for purchase of Cars, houses and electronic items.  Sales promotions devised by manufacturers and suppliers of consumer goods involve the customer participating in a prize draw or competition – hyping on the opportunity to win big prizes and boosting their sales, outsmarting their competitors.  They have the potential of raising the sales for a limited period.  Companies promoting resorts and the like, often make cold calling stating that the person had dropped visiting card in a mall earlier and thus has won a prize.  There would be a long sales pitch on their product and the prize could be some simple thing !!   There are also promotional activities at the time of festivities which can promise heaven – buy soap, get diamond for free; win a trip to exotic location and the like !!

Cold drink manufacturers have often engaged in sales promotions.  Today’s TOI reports that a  local court in Chandigarh issued notice to Coca Cola, 15 years after it was accused of not keeping its word on arranging a date with film star HrithikRoshan for a young woman from Panchkula. The woman had won a contest organised by the cola maker in 2000 reportedly offering  a romantic dinner as first prize with HritikRoshan. When the date did not materialise,  the woman, went to court seeking Rs.2.5 crore in damages.

Civil judge (senior division) K K Jain of Chandigarh district court issued the notice while allowing a 12-year-old application by ShikhaMonga on the maintainability of her suit. With these orders, she need not pay Rs.2.43 lakh as court fee for the suit.It is stated that it was duly proved on record that applicant is not possessed of sufficient means to pay the court fee and she is indigent and as a squeal thereto. The application is allowed to pursue with this suit being from a pauper indigent person, observed the court. Coca Cola was asked to file a reply by August 18.

According to Shikha, 34, Coca Cola Limited had floated a promotional programme in 2000. Under the scheme, prizes were announced at the back of the crown of the bottles. She rushed to the marketing office in Chandigarh's Industrial Area where the manager offered her Rs.5 lakh for the crown saying that the prize was one in a billion. She, however, was not interested in the money and wanted to meet the film star as early as possible.Strange are the ways of people ~and many a times, Companies do not keep up their promises !

Last month, more than one million people in China’s capital participated in a lottery of a different kind.The residents of Beijing were hoping for the golden ticket that would give them not riches or rewards, but a prize that was far more ordinary: the number plate of car !!just ordinary plates, not any special government plates that can allow their owners to skirt traffic laws. While the license plate lottery has made a serious dent in the number of new car sales in Beijing, with its 21-million population, and Shanghai, with its 23 million residents, the high prices tend to depress the sales of local brands, which tend to be less expensive than foreign brands. So the price of license plates is more likely to keep first-time car buyers away, while those who are upgrading from the old Mercedes-Benz S-class to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-class aren't really affected by the prices of the plates.

Their odds were challenging — more than one million people participated in the lottery, with just 20,000 registration certificates up for grabs.  China may have surpassed the U.S. when it comes to new car sales, but buying a car is only half the battle in some Chinese cities. While there is a large variety of different models available from dozens of manufacturers, including 11 different models from Buick alone, the amount of road space is not keeping up with the pace of car sales.  So the lottery of number plates and in some Chinese cities the price of license plates can exceed the price of a new car.Prospective license plate buyers first have to make a down payment to participate, and in exchange they receive a disc which they can use to register to bid on the year's allotment of license plates online. The city itself governs how many license plates are put up for sale each year, and then sets prices based on the bids received from prospective buyers. Within 10 minutes of the licence plate website opening at the start of the year, 6,000 people had applied for new plate numbers, the Beijing Daily newspaper reported.By 5pm, more than 53,000 applications had been submitted online, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The applicants were competing for the first batch of 20,000 plates !

The lottery system has been welcomed by urban planners and environmentalists in China as a necessary and long-overdue measure — one which, they hope, will boost public transportation and inspire other cities, in China and in rapidly urbanising countries like India, to follow this city’s example.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Aug 2015.

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