From discounts on haircuts to free drinks, consumers in Mumbai have a range of offers from restaurants, retailers and salons that they can avail on Thursday after voting.
Taj Salon, for instance, has announced a special discount of 15 per cent to customers at any Taj property while Lakme Salons are offering a 50 per cent discount on any haircut, apart from several other offers. The only condition is that customers must show the black ink mark on their fingers – a proof that they voted in the Lok Sabha elections, being held in the city on Thursday.
“As a responsible brand, Lakme Salons would like to remind and encourage our consumers to make a difference by choosing our leaders,” says Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Lever, talking about the offer at 210 salons that the company operates in India.*
A city where voter turnout was a little more than 40 per cent – about 47 per cent in the suburbs — in the 2009 elections, brands are trying to use offers and discounts to not just benefit from the holiday on the voting day but also encourage people to wake up to their responsibility.
Faisal Momen, Chief Operating Officer of Taj Salon, says the sole purpose of the company encouraging such an initiative is that more Indians are proactively becoming a part of ensuring a better future for the country.
“The general election in India is the biggest on earth… It is a Kumbh Mela of sorts that happens once every five years. Marketers do not want to miss this opportunity,” says brand consultant Harish Bijoor. “And, therefore, all this marketing action around the elections in terms of advertising and branding. Many, of course, traverse from the sublime to the outright ridiculous!”
Among other offers, retailer Shoppers Stop has launched a limited-edition collection of T-shirts with the message, ‘Vote,’ under its Life brand.
Consumers also get rewarded for voting at renowned food and beverage chains such as the Hard Rock Cafe. Under Operation Black Dot, which is an initiative by the DDB Mudra Group and the Thincquisitive Foundation, voters would get free entry at the Café in the Andheri (West) suburb of Mumbai along with other offers on the merchandise.
Also, there is a 10 per cent discount for patrons of Le15 Patisserie stores at several locations in the city. And vegetarian food at a couple of Cream Centre restaurant outlets will come with a 50 per cent discount if all the people at the table have voted. All this and a lot more are in store for customers flaunting the voting sign.