Hey there, SAPL Readers! This week’s post is based on Dustin’s observation about Asian people putting up advertisement calendars. He asks: “Have you ever noticed that whenever you go to some Asian person’s house, they have one of those calendars on the wall? *Like the ones from the bank with that part for the days that you could pull out that’s all perforated?* My dad’s family friend loves those. I also went to my other friend’s house the other day, and he had one on the wall too!”
Right when you walk into an Asian household, you can tell a lot about their buying habits and preferences. No, it’s not from the shoes they wear, paintings that adorn their walls, or the size of their television screens. It’s actually from one of the simplest forms of advertising: Free Promotional Calendars.
As long as shops have been around in Asia, shop owners have been giving out free calendars. Bank owners do it; Supermarkets embrace it; butchers, bakers, farmers and even tailors partake in this century old advertising scheme.
Allow me to explain: When an Asian goes into a supermarket, they expect a bonus when they leave. These bonuses are determined by how much money they have spent in that one outing. For example, if they’ve purchased 100 dollars worth of groceries, they should receive something to the extent of a 25-40 lb. bag of rice (and if you know bags of rice, they can get pretty pricey). I savor all those times I spent with my mom at the “giver’s” station (which was right before the supermarket exit. That is where we would receieve gifts ranging from calendars; to gas stoves; to even soy milk at our local ABC supermarket).
At a Traditional Tailoring Shop (which is the case with my family), clients would also expect a calendar around Lunar New Years (peak time for a traditional Vietnamese dress to be worn). I can also recall a number of disgruntled Asian women walking out of my mom’s store without calendars because they were out of stock. Why were they all pouting?
For the same reason metrosexual people purchase GQ and dads, Home Improvement magazines, Asian people can’t get enough of free business calendars. My mom’s shop, for example, relies heavily on this because the calendar would sport pictures of Ao Dai models and the various styles offered there. They would also provide customers with important information: the date and days of the week (hehe). Furthermore, they would also have our phone number in handy. Why pay for a 12-month magazine subscription when your calendar lasts 12 months and has new dresses every month? This brings us back to one of the core Asian principles…
Asians are Cheap. When will you find an Asian that would pass up something free? It doesn’t matter if it’s a calendar’s from a little-known bank or tailoring shop. The main point is that the item is free. In the end, life is so monotonous and boring. Free things give life a much-needed zest. In fact, I’m staring at a Vietnamese “Bank of the West” calendar as I type this post. (The odd thing is that my family has never even opened an account at Bank of the West). Walking down my hall, there is a Korean Drama Calendar and Christian Verses calendar; both compliments of our church and the local video rental store. Free Calendars are just good business practice in Asia.
TIP: I hope you enjoyed this post about Asian Promotional Calendars. The next time you go to an Asian store, keep a lookout for free calendars. Also note that they are seasonal (we all know no one needs a 2009 calendar in December of 2009). Other places to look are bakeries and restaurants.
Thanks for the observation, Dustin! Until next week, keep those submissions coming.
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