Back then in my school days April and May were the months when we get ‘Exam Fevers’. Times have changed and for the past 6 years it is ‘IPL Fever’. This year in addition to the IPL Fever the ‘Election Fever’ is going viral. I am one of these modern youths who get to know about most of the social affairs and recent trends from Facebook than from Google or Newspapers. These days from a movie review to an election campaign everything is going social media based. Of course, the social media has become a very useful and sensational way to reach to the audience; from a school kid to a grand mom everyone is using Facebook these days. Therefore logically marketing or promoting via FB sounds sane and wise.
However, what bothered me in the recent times were few posts and ads by FB Fan Pages which stated “Show your inked finger, get a free …” My FB newsfeed was flooded by these posts that made me curious and I opened one of these links. It was very simple, all we got to do is register our name and contact details in the form provided, vote in our area to any party of our choice, and then show our Voters’ ID and the inked finger to the franchise nearby our vicinity and claim the reward (as they call it). The prize, reward, or freebie ranged from a meal voucher to a spa voucher amongst others.
I was seriously wondering what exactly these brands are going to gain by making us vote by giving these freebies. Firstly, their online presence increases as we visit their page often to know about the offers or freebies, also we share their posts with our friends online that gets them a new set of audience or fans. Secondly, they get a good image on the media and amongst their customers as they are promoting a social cause (voting, in this case). Finally, this works same as daily deals concept; the customers get the voucher and when they visit the store they may buy more goodies or even better when they like the service and become a regular customer to the stores. This is a win-win situation, the customer votes to the party of his/her choice and gets some goodies, the government gets their voters ratio improved (especially the youth), and the companies that provide the freebies are benefitted for the reasons said above.
Well, all is well till here but then what bothers me was a question that my mom asked me this morning, “Have you people come to a stage wherein even to perform your fundamental duties you need freebies? How different is this from bribing?” This is something we should ponder about and react.
**Note : This post is written for the letter ‘P’ for us by Srilakshmi Indrasenan aka Stri who is a freelance content writer and editor. She writes technical, creative, fiction, motivational, fashion, and relationship based contents. She has 4+ years of experience in content writing and editing and also she is open to jobs like EmCee and Wedding planning. She blogs at http://www.iamstri.wordpress.com/ where she writes on categories like fashion, social issues, short stories, memoir, and humor.