The Bangladeshi cultural penchant for spontaneous humour in all forms has seldom shone brighter surrounding a marketing campaign
When Hotel Amari Dhaka revealed their lavish Valentine’s Day offer Thursday night, the authorities perhaps expected some backlash from Facebook users, but probably did not see other establishments take the opportunity to put one over them. Their neighbour Lakeshore Hotel Gulshan was prompt to throw shade, and Tokyo Express followed suit with a creative tweak of the original design.
The Tk9 lakh++ (exclusive of VAT, service charge, and additional costs) by Amari Dhaka packs quite a lot. Before proceeding, it is imperative that the Tk1.35 lakh VAT is stated, just for the record (15% of Tk9 lakh). An Amari Dhaka spokesperson said a Mercedes limousine will be used to pick you up and your date, followed by a helicopter ride of the city. It begs us to question, given the nightmarish traffic situation of Dhaka, could the participants forego the limo and get chauffeured around with the chopper? Also, how would a limo take turns in Dhaka streets? Choppers all the way would be the sensible thing to do.
But the promotional offer is more focused towards glamour and grandiloquence.
The “nine-course degustation dinner” is part and parcel of the package. Ordering off the menu prepared by a chef from New Zealand will cost extra, yes, even with that Tk9 lakh++ price tag, you will have to pay extra for a plate of fries. Lobster, caviar and mussels might be haute cuisine, but is it really a French dinner if you do not have French fries?
Amari Dhaka was quite modest in not mentioning a photography team will be following the date every step of the way from the minute they are picked up to the minute they are dropped off. This is very much The precious moments (Tk9lakh++ is very precious) will be documented in a photo album given as a present to the person who foots the bill. And the HONEYMOON SUITE will be at disposal for 24 hours.
Lakeshore Hotel Gulshan was eager to throw shade eerily fast. It is praiseworthy how swiftly they responded, albeit with a poorly-worded post, but it is the sentiment that counts.
It is not every day that two renowned hotels, especially neighbouring hotels, start throwing shade at each other. And we are grateful on this occasion.
You may not have to sell your organs for the barbecue dinner at Lakeshore, but Tk4,000 may still be a little too much for a lot of people.
At least, Tokyo Express believes so.
It would be a disservice on all our parts if we did not take off our figurative hats to the Tokyo Express social media team for appropriating the Amari Dhaka design and making the most of it.
The key phrase is “any given price”. If the price can be set by the diner, then Tokyo Express will have a hard time keeping track the tide of reservations on February 14.
Many Facebook users have swooped on the opportunity to ridicule the offer which for the general public would have them disclose the décolletage of their derrière.
The Bangali humour and the penchant for taking fervent potshots do not look to yield anytime soon.
Tripping, the travel agency, threw down with multiple offers for couples looking to travel. They might have been the winner, had we not spotted a cheaper offer, but only to Melbourne.
A Valentine’s Day dinner date is of course meaningful in myriad ways. The significance is measured by some with how costly the venture is, for others it is how far they will go to engrave a memory, and still it could be the best date ever with just a serving of jhalmuri (with the right serving of spices and proper ghugni).
An Amari Dhaka spokesperson claimed to have around 30 people interested in the offer. We hope Lakeshore will also be at capacity, and Tokyo Express serving diners left and right on February 14. We also hope Tripping finds people eager to take them up on their trips.