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"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bull run

This evening, there occured a grand event at my office. Some salespeople from Red Bull (the energy drink) were distributing Red Bulls cans for free as a promo. The entire population of Infy Chennai converged on that stall - I wonder if they had brought enough stocks.

A similar can of Red Bull is priced Rs. 75; and it was given for free! I've seen some Red Bull cans previously in the sandwich shop in the Food Court, but have dismissed it as alcoholic. Believe me, so has everyone in the past. But today, the picture was reversed. Everyone was speaking volumes about the merits of the drink, some convinced that it had some form of alcohol, others reeling off names of vitamins that their energy drink offered.

Whether the drink is alcoholic or not matters least to me. It does show how vulnerable we are to freebies. There is a saying in Tamil that people would drink phenol if it were given for free. I saw a live testimony of it.

No doubt, Red Bull is enthused by this "reception" that Chenfoscions have given them. I wonder if they will reflect on this free flow. They must have given out anywhere between 500 and 1000 cans. That's a lot of money. Let alone the price sensitivity of the Indian market. No one in their right mind would spend Rs. 75 for a drink... er, I'm speaking for the teetotalers.

Many things which seem quite obvious to me (us) are hardly noticed by others. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the people behind today's marketing gimmick knew what they were doing - they had factored in price sensitivity, popular attitudes to freebies and all that. Beats me.

Will this bull run be sustained?

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