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Alok's Posts / Startup

Good Old Fashioned Waste…

A few years ago, when Cadbury launched ‘Bournville’, they had some really expensive ads all over town.

I remember that Cadbury even rented out the most expensive hoarding in India (at least till I kept track) called Patel Bridge – On the juncture of Marine Drive and Chowpatty (Mumbai)

Image Courtesy – afaqs

This campaign was a signature case of what I had called ‘Good Old Fashioned Waste’


For the simple reason that the Bournville product was NOT AVAILABLE for WEEKS even after the ads had hit the market!

The shopkeepers around Peddar Road (where I stay) were particularly annoyed.

They said, “Sir, we don’t know why Cadbury releases ads like this. All the time we are turning away customers….”

Of course, the hoarding guys, the ad agencies and the media channels had a good, rollicking time!

They made money – without a care if the product sold or not!
(classical advertising industry disease).

Today, I saw the same example repeat itself online.

This is a tweet that started it all:

Wow! I said, this sounds like fun.

I was still conservative and went to google to make sure that I had all my options.

This is what I found:

The ad made the twitter conversation seem concrete.

So, I CLICKED on the ad and came to this page on Flipkart:

Sure, there were 2 iPad Minis that were available, but who was interested in these basic versions (without 3G)?? (Probably that’s the reason why these models were not selling)

Another, great, classic example of “Good Old Fashioned Waste…”

I mean, THINK:

– Why advertise on the top of Google and pay for clicks when you don’t have the goods?

– Unlike Hoardings and TVCs that CAN’T BE STOPPED or rolled back, why CONTINUE to run CPC ads when they can be switched off???

The answer to the question is to PONDER about what’s common between Cadbury and

LOTS OF MONEY to waste I guess….!!!!



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  1. Agree completely.. I don’t remember the brand but I have encountered non-availability of one such product which I so wanted to buy after I saw its TVC. Recently Bingo Mad Angles have entered into the category of one such non-available product. 

    And this is true not just in case of products but services or mere presence on web. If you are advertising yourself anywhere outside the online media, it’s practical that people will come and search for you on web. To be factual, almost 70% of people surf net about the brands that they hear via TVCs or newspapers. And if you are not there, you better be kidding by spending that much of money and being ‘Gaayab’ / ‘Out of Sight’, when people come searching for you just to know more about you.

    It’s more about not devising a strategy before counting bucks to waste instead of making it work…

  2. Right Right Right

  3. Totally confused.

    All these brands have been infused with lots of tanks ‘full of cash’ so they aint worried about anything. They are just focusing on showing a so called sheet and then again raising another round of fresh fund. Is this the way one should run it ?

  4. Oh boy..I need to be careful b4 talking to Mr.Rodinhood henceforth!! Dont know which post makes me famous!! LOL

    Humor apart..its a very relevant point…advertising is getting crazy…but isn’t advertising used to create such hype, that people literally are ready to paid in advance and wait till the goods have arrived? This is the culture first started when ipad2 was launched…Apple stores started taking bookings in lieu of advance and till now the trend continues with iphone5 and now mini ipad!

    Madness I would say…

  5. Can google offer a feature of disable the display of your ad if there is an out-of-stock against the item searched for and enlisted on your website?

  6. Even I have faced similar issue with FK. I am looking for region Free blu-ray player in India, So I just Google searched it and I got FK ad in top 3. But when I went to website, it didn’t have region free mention in Product details so I wrote to them. They conveniently replied back that It is not available. FYI region free player is not officially launched in India. If it isn’t launched, it doesn’t make a sense to promote it via ads and waste money on it.

  7. Considering that a large part of Flipkart’s success is attributed to their SEO techniques and the word of mouth publicity, should’nt they do something to fix this before these kind of instances result in lot of negative experiences? The popularity of their site also gets them better ranking and preference in the display of their ads as per the Google algorithm, I think. And hence it is all the more important for them to get this right. This in my mind will add to their brand value as customers would be certain that flipkart will not not disappoint them once it shows up in their the search listings. However if it is not fixed, it may end up doing more harm than good if too many people face such disappointments.

  8. When you have free VC money to splurge, you bound to do such activities. BTW Do you think such a big TVC campaign is required for Flipkart, which they still continuing? Just for my understanding. 

  9. Difficult to say what exactly may be the reason for this disconnect between the marketing team and the team in-charge of inventory/site. 

    Flipkart is scaling on a scorching pace, TVC helps them to do just that….

    Many many people who were averse to online shopping, never heard of Flipkart are taking notice and atleast going to the site…conversions are inevitable…

  10. Hi,

    The “out of stock” issue could also be because of supply problems which comes under apple’s domain.  Check his article out: 

  11. and that means that FK keeps funding google’s coffers?

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