Do you remember the good old 80s and 90s when every brand such as Rin, Surf or Babool used to give us those salivating buying offers where we bought one and got one free, and almost every customer while buying at the counter, used to put forth the inevitable question to the shopekeeper, “Is there any scheme on this?” Where has it gone now? Have brands forgotten the old sorcerer’s art that made marketing somewhat measurable, or we the consumers have become oblivious to that way of buying? I don’t know where the answer is. For my dad in 80s was a consumer whose buying decision depended on the scheme that were stamped on brands, and now when I run errands I seldom have time to even compare. Having said that, when I see a bumper offer at a megastore my eyeballs do swell like a child’s on seeing a forbidden candy!

Logic says that with inflating marketing budgets (in 80s, brands were not even spending 1/100th of what they spend on marketing now), brands could have afforded to launch more ‘schemes’. In fact, the trend has somehow reversed. The chips packet has gone lesser in weight and higher on price, with no damn offer. Yes, what we get to see is a starry brand ambassador who charges in many crores. Whilst this may give a brand visibility, it doesn’t add any value to the product or end consumer. It’s only rational to say that 1+1 was better and will always stay better. Even this Diwali, the electronic products, which traditionally have offered mouth-watering offers, became lukewarm. Sony and Samsung just had DTH TV connections to offer which don’t add any value. And we know that’s just a co-branding exercise.

My favourite 1+1 happened a few days ago (where the idea of writing on this topic also struck me) when I bought Colgate toothpaste. I paid for 4 and got 4 smaller ones along with 4 toothbrushes! That’s some serious dental care and I like it more than seeing how white a Khan’s teeth are! Urgh!

As a customer, if brands are listening, give me more 1+1s and 1+2s. I love them because they make me feel good.

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