Someone said so, saying of a joke
doing the rounds on gaffes, goof-ups and outright doublespeak after the grand
promise made by India’s largest online retailer and its promoters failed
The huge amount of negative
publicity or countless disgruntled customers expressing their outrage online
raised the most logical question of the failed event (from a customer’s
perspective) - was there a SALE indeed that could correspond to the special
message of ‘Sachin & Binny’?
On October 4, a Flipkart mailer
with the subject line ‘Special Message
from Sachin & Binny’ was dropped in millions of mailboxes where the
online retailers tried to sound emotional, linking the date with the address of
the place they began with, while, simultaneously, the marketer in them was
urging the targeted market ‘to be a part
of this event, when, come October 6th, Flipkart forever changes the
way India shops’.
Well, nothing so happened. The
market might well have paid tribute to the marketer by giving it a larger
business volume on the day but the marketer failed to pay ‘tribute to dreams and dreamers’ as ‘Sachin & Binny’ initially
An intended ‘way of making sure Flipkart’s all customers’ dreams come true..’ became
a routine ‘clearance sale’ which failed to live up to the promises made.
Well, the fault lies with those
who read too much into what ‘Sachin & Binny’ promised, like has been the
case always, in every such ‘sale’ oriented marketing event.
Nothing is emotional in marketing
Gyaanis always say and ‘Sachin & Binny's Flipkart only reaffirms this again.
It reaffirms again the cliché that is conveniently
forgotten again and again.
I don't remember if Nokia Lumia
1020 ever sold at over Rs 62000 and that how 'benevolently' Flipkart was
offering it at 19000 when its life was already over months ago.
Also, I couldn't locate Rs 600
Adata 2TB External Hard Disc Drive (original price claimed by Flipkart - Rs
6000), Rs 99 JBL 55i (original price claimed by Flipkart - Rs 5490) or Rs 1390
Galaxy Tab 2 (original price claimed by Flipkart - Rs 13990) on Flipkart. All these offers were advertised crazily in
the morning newspapers and they crashed crazily. Deodorants that were on 30%
discount were reduced to 20% discount tag within an hour. In Fact, ‘marked up’
prices and ‘fleeting discounts’ dotted across the category lines.
That forced the majority to ask where was the ‘Big
Billion' event of the day? Well, it never arrived.
A guy who thought his ‘luck’
worked ordered two units of a mobile phone handset, each for Rs 1500 for the
retail price of 7000 a unit. The order was placed successfully and the confirmation
was received. In evening, the fellow got another mail from Flipkart saying his
order was ‘auto-cancelled’ due to 'price error'. The guy, obviously left
fuming, sent complaint mails to media houses and said of taking the matter further
There are countless such
reactions flooding the social media and different Internet platforms. In fact, on
yesterday, the supposedly big-ticket Flipkart event day, #Flipkart was tending
on Twitter only because of the negative publicity owing to Flipkart’s failure
to follow what ‘Sachin & Binny’ had spoken of.
But, in marketing, at the end of
the day, what matter most are business volumes, inventory clearance and profits
and Flipkart sure would have scored on it.
After all, irrespective of how ‘touchy
and personal’ ‘Sachin & Binny’ tried to be, it was nothing but a tried and
tested marketing gimmick ‘that never fails to bring results’.