There is an old adage: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
Recently, Amari Dhaka announced a Valentine’s Day package for Tk900,000++ (amounting to roughly Tk11,38,500).
The exclusive package includes a city tour for two on a private helicopter, a night’s stay at Amari Dhaka, transportation to and from home via a BMW, and a very lavish and romantic dinner.
Now, I am not here to pass judgement on whether the price is justified -- because we all know if it is. I am here to discuss the marketing aspect of the Valentine’s package.
As you might be aware, the Tk900,000 package opened up a deafening buzz.
Facebook lit up, and so did WhatsApp groups across the city. It is no exaggeration to say that it was the talk of the town, and perhaps still is. However, much of that buzz carried with it a combination of astonishment, mockery, and bewilderment.
Parody campaigns ensued on Facebook. Lakeshore and Tokyo Express both played on the price aspect with punch lines focusing on “dinners one can afford without selling their kidneys.” Low blows, to be honest.
Where is the neighbourly love? To quote Game of Thrones
: “Shame, shame, shame.”
In this world of viral marketing, organic views versus paid views carry with it some sort of moral superiority. In the same manner, piggy-backing off another brand’s hype, or putting it down for one’s own benefit, feels cheap, fake, and completely wrong.
Say what you may about the campaign, but marketing is a brilliant equalizer. Amari, you see, already sold the 9L package, and you all paid for it
Let’s be honest, parodying the 9L package was a low-hanging fruit -- however, it comes across as a desperate attempt of other brands to steal some of the limelight and cheat its way into staying relevant. Even as a competitor of Amari, I applaud and fully appreciate the immense hype that their campaign generated. Well deserved, and well played, Amari.
In any industry, there is an unspoken language of mutual respect and etiquette amongst industry players, and putting down competitors so bluntly is not advisable. Furthermore, the campaign deserves none of the social media abuse it has been subjected to. Amari is the protagonist in my story, and just like any hero, Amari is having the last laugh.
My company has been involved in Facebook marketing long before most companies realized its immense value.
I know the huge effort it requires to have target markets share content. You can pay for likes, but organic views have the moral high ground.
Amari, as of February 7, has 8,500 post reactions -- without spending a dime, if I may add. That’s 8,500 people who will keep an eye out for Amari no matter what the brand posts next.
Add to that the 5,917 comments it generated, and there is no escaping the fact that in a marketing world, the campaign was a blowout success.
Saving the best for the last -- over 35% of people who had a post reaction (like, surprise, love, etc) ended up sharing the post on Facebook.
That’s a whopping 2,999 people sharing Amari’s ad -- without being paid a penny for it. If each person has 300 friends, that’s close to 900,000 people’s Facebook newsfeed that Amari has just landed on.
And yet again, for free.
According to my extensive research on Facebook and years of hands-on experience, I have calculated that Amari has generated a significant value in marketing boost.
Allow me to break down the numbers:
Globally, a “like” can be worth as much as 81 cents. However, the Indian average of $0.08 per click is more of an accurate depiction for Bangladesh. In fact, my research shows that a “like” costs around 7 cents for the Bangladeshi hospitality industry. Using that number, Amari generated $595 in marketing value.
Comments are a more personal interaction than “reactions,” since we sometimes like posts while browsing, a little mindlessly. Therefore, each comment has been estimated to cost as much as $4 in some countries.
Considering the lack of social media competition, my research shows $0.9 to be the magic number for the local hospitality market -- that accounts for a whopping $5,325.30 in brand value for Amari Dhaka.
Even higher up in the social media pyramid is a “share” -- it opens up a brand’s marketing material to your friends, and subsequently to many more potential clients. As a result, its value is significantly more as well. Eventbrite estimates a Facebook “share” to be worth $4.15, keeping it consistent with the other metrics, my research shows a “share” to be valued at $1.74.
Since 2,999 users shared the post (as of February 7), the estimated marketing value through just “shares” is a staggering $5,218.26.
In total, that’s $11,138.56 in marketing value. According to today’s exchange rates, Tk926,839.58.
Say what you may about the campaign, but marketing is a brilliant equalizer. Amari, you see, already sold the 9L package, and you all paid for it.
Kazi Aaquib Shams is Director, Six Seasons Hotel.