Yesterday a friend and I ordered delivery for lunch from a local Italian restaurant. Halfway through my Penne Primavera, I realized that the “cheese” I thought had accompanied it, and I had spread across my noodles, was actually mayonnaise. Bizarre Brazilian interpretation of Italian cuisine? Nope. It was a promotion.
Somehow this Italian restaurant, or the delivery service, got hooked up with Hellmann’s and was passing out a container of the new “Supreme” product with every order. (Always read labels before eating, especially in a third world country.)
Brazilians have interesting tactics around product promotions. I’ve received shampoo samples at the movies. On our last road trip to Rio, there were two girls hanging around the tollbooth passing out processed cheese.
I supposed because labor is so cheap, it’s more profitable to put people on the street than put up a billboard. But I just don’t understand the marketing research involved.
A couple months ago, Kate Spade opened a store in my neighborhood. For about two weeks, nearly every corner of my street had a stand from which young people were passing out brightly colored pinwheels. This was apparently to promote the store, but the pinwheels were mostly given out to kids, or subsequently handed to kids by their mothers or nannies (my daughter – who will not be in the market for a Kate Spade wallet for a couple decades at least – owns two, one given to her by our doorman). While it did make me aware of the boutique (though I’m not a fan), I noticed that the pinwheels had no branding at all. Just plain colored paper on a stick. Genius in its subtlety or marketing oversight?
I don’t know… are consumers of Italian cuisine more likely to be consumers of fancy mayonnaise? Perhaps Hellmann’s should stick to partnering with the burger places. And hire a better marketing research team.