A Neat Marketing Trick!

a neat marketing trick to sell chocolatesWhen I was very young, we went to a small town (maybe village) called Tada. Its nearΒ  Chennai – you might have heard of Tada Falls. I went alone to buy something in the nearby small shop and I noticed a boy buying a particular chocolate. Another boy came by and he also bought the same one. And then another. I was curious, and I asked the shop owner why everyone was buying that particular chocolate, when there were so many varieties available in the shop. Our conversation went something like this:

“Actually, these chocolates are special. They cost 25 paise and they are one of the costlier chocolates available” (Back then, the prices were like that. I still remember eating horlicks chocolate for 5 paise, a couple of years later. They were awesome!!)

“Then why they still buy it?”

“That’s because, some of the chocolates contain money inside them. Some might have 5 paise, 10 paise or even 25 paise”

“Can’t you identify the coin by seeing the chocolate?”

“Impossible. Try one”

I tried, and that chocolate did not have any coin inside! Its kept inside the chocolate – if you break the chocolate, you might find it inside.

“See, you took the biggest one, thinking that there should be a coin in one of them. Most of the people do that, and that’s why there is no coin in the biggest ones”

“So, the medium sized or the smaller ones have the coins?”

“Not all, but some of them have. In fact, even I cannot say which ones do and which ones don’t. But some kids are very smart. They somehow know which ones have the coins! But even they are not able to find out correctly all the time”

“You are joking right. I think none of the chocolates have coins in them!”

“No, you cannot do business that way. And besides, you cannot cheat the kids. Only if at least one kid per class gets the coin and tells everyone else, they will keep buying them, thats the only way to sustain their interest. At least one in ten chocolates have the full 25 paise in them. At least two more have other coins of lesser value”

Back then, I thought that was a cool marketing trick! Somehow, I still think so πŸ™‚

And trust me, we adults fare much worse when it comes to falling for marketing tricks. For example, toothpaste cannot contain calcium! Even if it contains calcium, its quite useless. Calcium goes to the tooth from the food. Always. But we were made to believe otherwise because of marketing – advertisers who have no scientific inclinations to verify, like us! And yes, vitamins are useless if they are contained in your shampoo!! πŸ™‚

Destination Infinity

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8 Replies to “A Neat Marketing Trick!”

  1. This is a good story! As the shop keeper said, they cannot fool the children all the time! Some child should get a coin, then they continue to go in for the chocolates! Remember Coca cola's lids?! It is fun, though! I also fall for these types of gimmicks!

    Protein rich shampoo is also a gimmick! Protein rich food helps, not soaps or shampoos!

    Actually,the taste of those particular chocolates was not good, and I remember that as I ate one. I wonder why people don't give credit to a product based on its merit, and fall for silly marketing tricks!!

  2. Most of this marketing tricks are targeted on kids.Few years back when the ad of lux came which showed a gold coin in that,my daughter and my nephew took my mom to the shop and made her buy 5 lux and they made her cut the soap into 2 to check for the gold coin,they were very sad for not finding the coin.

    Kids influence a lot on the purchasing power of a family….

    I don't know how much I pestered my parents to buy things for me, when I was a kid! But those days, exposure for products and toys was very less and we usually had only neighboring kid's recommendations – who were themselves not very much informed πŸ™‚ . But I agree with you, these days, kids have the media and neighboring kid's. I guess it should be tough for parents!!

    1. When we were kids hardly there was any choice,but now there are so many competitors for a single product and all of them target the kids.The moment we enter the supermarket with the kids it is the kids selection from toothpaste to basmati rice…..My daughter came to me once and said amma u change ur mobile to airtel because my friends mom has airtel and she said she can call u for free.My kids when ever we go to shop they check for the free tag…

      I thought the super market was the most boring place to go, back then! On the other hand, there are elders who still fall for the 'free' tag. A whole election in TN was won due to freebies…

  3. Interesting story! Takes me back years when the iconic brands of those days remained central part of our lives!

    This particular one wasn't even a brand. There was not even a name on the top! πŸ™‚ Strange, how I remember so much…

  4. Wow.. this has taken meyears back… when as u said 5paise and all those nice sweeets , we use to have this person come in our village and we wud give him a bowl of Seeds wheat , oat , or flour and then he wud give sweets or other goodies ,,

    YEAH I SOUND OLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDd he he heeh those were the good days … nowadays we have so many goodies promised here in uk we have this phone lottery which costs 2 pounds per call and yo ugot to answer a question , which are so easy like what is the capital of india… and so many people call in… every day a new question

    but i guess whatever sells … πŸ™‚

    i loved the story took me back ot the good old days πŸ™‚

    The barter system that you described is interesting to know, the closest that I have gotten to barter is exchanging old clothes for utensils. Not sure if that practice still exists…

  5. ads hv become so much part of our lives, i think we cannot resist it. sigh!!

    the number advts we are prone to keeps increasing everyday its like a disease we welcome or shall we are unaware of..

    A disease that we are unaware of, is an interesting perspective πŸ™‚ ….. Perhaps, since we are bombarded with a lot of ads, it might lead to some kind of classification of ad patterns and we might be able to separate the wheat from the chaff… I know its a tall order, but still… πŸ˜‰

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