If you're based in Dubai, you might have seen the billboards around town exclaiming 'Thank you!' on behalf of Masafi. In fact, Masafi is thanking us for all the children we're helping. The Dubai Cares logo is featured prominently in the company's promotional materials. Dubai Cares is a charity set up to help improve childrens' education in developing countries and is a good thing.
It's nice timing, as the price of Masafi has just risen. I can remember the days when a nice vinyl 1.5L bottle of Masafi would cost you Dhs1 - now the 500ml diddy ones cost Dhs 1.25, 1.5 or 2, depending on where you buy 'em (Lals, ADNOC and Emarat respectively). The company also had a relatively recent product recall, which it would quite like to forget all about. So a nice, high profile campaign is quite understandable.
You'd be forgiven for thinking this was smart marketing by Masafi - take a short term haircut and donate the price rise to charity for the first couple of months of the new price - for instance - and you might find consumer resistance to the increase is lessened. What's more, at the end of the drive you could present a nice, hefty cheque to Dubai Cares.
And that's pretty much what's happening, according to the press release. Each of the 'Thank you' branded bottles sold sees "proceeds" go to Dubai Cares. Quite what "proceeds" means (the total retail amount, profit, a percentage) we are not told.
Alongside this, a charity auction is taking place. For a bottle of Masafi.
To show that we're 'down with the kids', the auction is being held using a thing called an Internet. You can go online using this Internet and bid for a bottle of Masafi. Yes, that's right. All those tens of thousands of dollars of marketing spend on advertising and rebranding the company's packaging for the promotion are being poured into an online auction for a bottle of water.
At the end of the auction, the winner gets a bottle of Masafi and Dubai Cares gets what the winner has bid for the bottle.
So far sixteen people have registered to show their support for the campaign and thirteen have lodged bids. Twenty people have shared the promotion through Facebook. The top bid for the bottle currently stands at Dhs 1,700. No donations have been made.
I have nothing to add. If you do, by all means feel free to leave a comment.