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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

How NOT to sponsor a movie premiere/preview

Dear Gillette/Duracell,

This evening, I attended a preview of "Batman Begins", which was sponsored by you. This is the sequence of events that led me to the movie:
  1. I bought a pack of Duracell batteries.
  2. I completed your contest form.
  3. I mailed the contest form and battery packaging.
  4. I waited for your reply through the (snail) mail indicating that I had won a pair of free tickets to the preview.
  5. I collected the pair of tickets from your local office.
  6. I arrived at the cinema on the day, time and venue indicated on your tickets and letter of amendment(14 June 2005, 7:30pm, Golden Village Marina Centre).
  7. I watched the movie.
  8. I left the cinema.
You will notice that there is nothing wrong or peculiar about this sequence of events. In fact, it is very ordinary, very plain, very... sterile.

And that was exactly what was wrong with your sponsorship of the preview -- there was nothing special about it!

I and my friend, whom I watched the movie with, have attended sponsored movie screenings in the past and yours paled in comparison to all of them. Here are the usual marketing events that we noticed were conspicuously deficient in your sponsorship:
  1. There was only a small sign at the cinema entrance indicating the special preview. The sign was no different from a cardboard version of a movie poster.
  2. There was an empty table next to the sign, which I assume was used to welcome your guests. But the only people seated at the table were your guests.
  3. There were no visible Gilette or Duracell employees.
  4. There were no free gifts. No movie-related merchandise, no posters. No snacks. Not even a diluted small cup of soda which had gone flat long ago.
  5. There was no special welcome inside or outside the theatre hall. Not even a brief "Thank you for your continued support of Gilette."
I suppose your rebuttal to all of the above is that the plain fact that I had free tickets to a blockbuster movie preview is already a reward in itself. Unfortunately, though I did win the free tickets, I did not feel like a winner. I felt... ordinary. There was nothing that made me think: "Wow, I'm really lucky/special/cool to be among these 100 people to watch a fantastic movie."

Fortunately, the movie made up for the mediocrity, although the audio was cut off for a minute at the very beginning of the show. But I shall attribute that slip-up to Golden Village, not you.

In short, I felt short-changed. Your sponsorship of the movie preview has left a sour taste in my mouth with regards to how you treat your paying customers, especially those whom you want to feel special and cared for by you. In the future, please ensure that your marketing employees actually perform their job in making your customers continue to have a good impression of you.

Thank you.


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