September 23, 2009

Promises, promises

Many weeks ago I signed up for a contest and asked gentle and not-so-gentle readers like you to vote for us. No fault of yours, but we didn't make it to the shortlist of 100 couples. The contest went on from there, ended over a month ago and this pair was the winner.

Why do I bring this up now? Most of the contest was conducted online. Since it was essentially a marketing/PR exercise for a car called the Mitsubishi Cedia Sports, it needed to keep a buzz going through the event. It needed plenty of eyeballs/hits/footfalls/[insert your term-of-the-moment] as long as it lasted.

Thus the organizers announced prizes for people who followed the event: hourly ones of gloves, daily ones of some gizmo or the other. The grand prize for such followers was a trip to Singapore to watch the F1 Grand Prix there this coming weekend. If you selected the three finalists correctly, if you chose the winner, you were eligible to win one of these trips. Three such trips altogether.

These were attractive enough prizes that lots of people signed up, hoping to win them. Mitsubishi and their Indian partner, Hindustan Motors, got plenty of that buzz they were looking for. At the prize-giving party at the end of the contest, somebody from HM announced that the site had got some enormous number of hits, making it one of the most-visited Indian sites on the Web.

So here's the point. Those Singapore prizes have not been awarded. Not even a mention of them, since the contest ended.

A large company conducts a contest as a marketing campaign. It announces attractive prizes. It does not deliver. What would you call this?

Me, many words come to mind. "A marketing disaster" are just three.

I mean, would I consider buying a Cedia Sports? Or suggest to a friend that they buy one? Not a chance.

Good job, Mitsubishi and Hindustan Motors.

***

Postscript: If you feel like telling HM and Mitsubishi what you think, you can do so via these "Contact Us" forms: Hindustan Motors, Mitsubishi India.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

More people need to call them out.

Kshitij

Blueshift said...

Mitsubishi is a racist company.

KS Anand said...

Dear Mr Dilip DS

I have raised similar concerns like all of you frequently and offensively @ TGDC Website earlier and people labeled me "Erratic Mad & crazy" ! Now TGDC is gone dead ! It needs a Resurrection !! ...HML and the Organizers are silent on many Issues !!... even the 10th day lucky winners weren't announced !! I have stopped visiting the TGDC Website long long ago. My decision was right for not accepting that Navigator....now i wonder whether i am a proud owner of Cedia or have a bad Proprietor to deal with ???...Now this appears to be a big Marketing Fraud !! and with absolutely No Marketing Ethics !!! Is there any Legal recourse ??? HM should be penalized for this un-ethical Mal-practice !!

ks

Dilip D'Souza said...

Blueshift, that's uncalled for.

Absolutely Normal Chaos said...

I'm into PR and let me say that if they ever look back at this in the future, with hopefully a more sophisticated knowledge of PR or even basic decency, they are going to realize that it's the small things that matter. They don't know it yet, but people look for and remember the small things.

Aadil said...

"I mean, would I consider buying a Cedia Sports? Or suggest to a friend that they buy one? Not a chance."

You summed it up wonderfully. HM and Mitsubishi are going down with this!

charu said...

Dilip, that question - "I mean, would I consider buying a Cedia Sports? Or suggest to a friend that they buy one? Not a chance." - I think (I am speculating) that is one of the reasons for them going back on their promises - who *is* going to buy the Cedia after all these rounds of expensive contesting? I hear that the winners of the contest have not been paid up either - been planning to blog about it myself- shall do pronto...

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

Perhaps Blueshift was making a pun on the word "race", using its meaning as a class of people and a competition of speed?

Regards,

Puppy Manohar

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ said...

Hey guys, Hope you all are doing well.

In my opinion, I don't see any point in calling them or something...Big ppl like Mitsubishi needs a bang to hear...So My opinion is, lets plan up and make a formal complaint against them... File a case against them... We'll pool up some money which is required for the case. Don't worry we'll get our money back, if we win..:D. Otherwise atleast they will atleast get a bang...

Wot say guys? If you think it’s gonna work then gimme a shout. So spread the word and ask for help and collaboration, If we see a good enough ppl collaborating, then we can proceed further with this matter...I've some supreme court lawyers in ma contact. So can ask them for suggestion. But that would be possible, only if you all are with me..

Regards,

Ajay Khatri