Social media is going bananas over Rahul Bose bill

NEW DELHI: Marketers are going bananas over the vs episode, in which the actor was charged Rs 442 for a pair of the yellow fruit at the hotel.

Taking a cue from Bose‘s video tweet through which he had expressed his displeasure last week, a host of companies -from Pizza Hut and to Oyo and Reliance – pitched in with witty social media ads that ridiculed the exorbitant price the actor had to shell out for the two bananas at the international chain‘s Chandigarh property. Just for comparison, a pair of bananas costs around Rs 10 in the capital.

Even Western Railway (WR), veered off the beaten track. It put out a post, which went like this, “Chittaurgarh ka plan Bana-na at just Rs 445,” which meant one could visit the historic place by buying a rail ticket for that sum.

Snacks and beverage maker PepsiCo flaunted the sheer number of fruits that go into making one litre of its packaged fruit juice. Rivals such as Park Hotel and Taj too were quick to pounce on the opportunity. “In today‘s rapidly changing digital landscape, it is imperative for brands to communicate with consumers through different moments. Consumers today appreciate it when brands share topical content,” said Vineet Sharma, director (marketing – juices), PepsiCo India.

Similarly, other companies did not wait long to capitalise. An e-tailer put out a long list of its services that a consumer can bag with Rs 442.

“Such trending moments on social media provide brands unique opportunities to reach out to a larger audience who want to be influenced in that moment. For us, the net gain has been large-scale consumer awareness at zero cost,” said a spokesperson at Policy-Bazaar, a fintech firm, which put out a thread of conversations on social media.

While hashtags like #RahulBoseMoment and #Going-Bananas and #bananas have been trending on , brand and marketing experts say these gimmicks are a useful canvas for companies to leverage the message in a clever and humorous manner.

“Brands are communicating the message all the time, through a quick-witted response. The campaign may be fairly useful, but for it to gain traction and become amplified, a one-off social media post may not work,” said brand expert Santosh Desai, adding “unless it‘s Amul or – brands which create a buzz with real-time marketing campaigns”.

However, a section of industry experts feels certain campaigns, comparing a luxury offering with more commonplace products or services, are unnecessary as it‘s not an apple to apple comparison. Terming it as ‘marketing vulturism‘, brand consultant Harish Bijoor said companies are fishing in troubled waters with their campaigns. “Those in glass houses should not throw stones. Every one of them should remember they are equally fallible,” he said.
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