Maybe the biggest and most attention-grabbing promotion drive last week - and even this week, perhaps - was the one unleashed by Star TV, in its bid to reach out to the Hindi heartland. The high-pitch promotion for Kaun Banega Crorepati perfectly matched by the deep baritone of Mr Bachhan.
Star lined up a series of promos covering cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Lucknow and Bhopal for three days before the launch. For Mumbaikars, Star TV reserved some special surprises. One of them was targeted at the big chunk of officegoers who avail of Mumbai's very own dabba (lunch) service.
On July 3, the day of the programme launch, one of them had an invitation for a date with Amitabh Bachchan, besides the usual lunch. On the same evening, special fare-free buses were run between important city centres and Churchgate station as well as Chatrapati Shivaji terminus. A KBC-painted special Churchgate-Virar local train was flagged off on the morning of July 3.
Though Star TV upped the stakes and the decibel levels by quite a few notches, other brands and companies weren't to be left behind. A cursory look at the major sales promotions these last ten days shows a lot of action, at least in the consumer durables market.
In microwave ovens, both Daewoo and Samsung, coincidentally, chose similar freebies. Daewoo was offering a 5-piece Borosil set worth Rs 1,180 with its microwaves. Samsung had two Borosil dishes with every Samsung Bio-Ceramic microwave oven. Whirlpool India's had an exchange offer on its Quick-Chill refrigerators - consumers could get up to Rs 9,000 for their old fridges. Finance with low EMIs (Rs 467 per month) was another draw.
Other exchange offers in the durables market included a Rs 1,000 discount on a new Singer sewing machine and a 20-per cent discount on the Milton Chiller Filter. Among other kitchen appliances, Kenstar was offering a juicer-mixer-grinder worth Rs 3,395 with its ovens, and an OTG worth Rs 2,250 with its water purifiers. The Kanchan Tycoon Mixer came with a 3-piece Royal Rasoi gift pack worth Rs 1,475.
Panasonic was aggressively promoting its colour TV brand 21 Digital Sophia II in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka - a Kodak camera worth Rs 995 was on offer. Panasonic was running a parallel scheme with scratch cards.
In the business products category, Canon and Epson were slugging it out in the printers market. While select Canon printers had freebies such as the Canon Prima fully-automatic camera (worth Rs 2,425) and Sony cordless phones (worth Rs 2,995), Epson's scratch-and-win offer had Tanishq gold necklaces, Epson digital cameras, Motorola cell phones and Panasonic cordless phones for the consumer.
In foods, Spirulina had a Rs 20-Off scheme on every bottle of Spirulina. Consumers needed to present a clipping of the ad announcing the scheme to the chemist/retailer. Cornetto was offering Rs 4 back to consumers every time they purchased any Cornetto cone and returned the lid to the retailer.
Pond's was offering a discount of Rs 5 on the 50 gm pack of Pond's moisturizing face wash. And a 30-gm pack of shaving cream worth Rs 17 was being given free with every 50 ml pack of Premium After Shave Lime lotion.
In apparel, Arrow was giving a leather belt or a silk tie with every two Arrow items purchased. Byford was offering a Rs-100 discount on T-shirts, in exchange of any old T-shirt.
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