Expectations raised… *Terms and Conditions apply

Sometimes I really wonder who is a bigger fool. Brands that promote thousand things with  a “* T&C apply” or consumers who are falling for this… if they are falling at all!

I believe that consumer is far wiser than what the brands think he is. Does any one really believe that they can get a Delhi-Mumbai ticket for One Rupee? Or the fact that they can win a Hyundai Tucson by buying a product? Of course what I am talking is old hat. This whole topic has been done to death. Yet promotions just go on and on…

I think somewhere the brands have realized that we are eternal optimists and we believe that some day our luck will change and we will get the mega prize! and we will keep buying stuff we dont need or rather something that we need but would choose the brand which is offering better promo deal. 

Long ago, in its hey days, Pepsi had done a promotion  – “Mera number kub ayega”. One of the most insightful lines I have ever come across… other being “reclaim your life” (but thats not promotion). The pepsi line sure was about we forever hoping that our chance will come some day. And being part of the promo is like legitimate lottery. Imagine if a guy were to tell his wife that he intends to buy lottery ticket. Not a good idea at all! But if he were to say “lets buy brand x washing machine, we might get a brand new apartment!” Absolute consent and they will buy and wait forever to get that apartment. Of course if they dont (and nobody does) they will curse their luck.

I wish the government makes it mandatory for all companies that at the end of the promotion, they have to publish the list of winners along with addresses and photographs and there is an audit.

The reason for this post is that few days back my daughter saw this commercial on disney where one had to send an sms and buy a Hannah Montana CD and get two free movie tickets. So we sent the text message and got a response that their customer representative will call within 72 hours. Its been close to 200 hours now and no calls. And the tough time I have had telling my daughter that we must not have made the list because the commercial also had a fine print probably with *T&C applies. My daughter is disappointed and I am writing this post.

Wish the brands would stop playing havoc with consumer’s expectations? Some day there might be a consumer backlash against this where the consumer will turnaround and say “We will buy you but terms and conditions apply”

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