How Do These Ads Grab You?

Do you see something wrong with this ad? What does this ad tell you? Now let me put my rant cap on. Long distance phone cards proliferate the convenience stores of North America. In a cosmopolitan city like Toronto inhabited by people from all over the world, shopping for a long distance calling card is a thrill. Rates are darn cheap. Here’s what I don’t understand though. If I can make a 1 cent per minute call to China, why the hell am I paying 13.9 cents per min to the Philippines? If I look at the chart, the RP rate is more expensive than Asian countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India and Pakistan!

This tells me two things ( click on pic to enlarge) :

a. RP’s telecom infrastructure is inferior to the aforesaid countries
b. Monopolistic practices exist in RP’s telecom industry

It is a shame that the Philippine government trumpets itself as being a potential powerhouse in the global call center outsourcing arena when its long distance rates are twice as expensive as India and thrice as Bangladesh. It is a shame that the RP government turns a blind eye to the monopolistic practices of the most powerful carrier in the country, whose sole mission is self enrichment and the perpetuation of its strangehold on the telecom market.

This one is a real dandy ad – 2 free Toronto Raptors tickets for the purchase of a large pizza! Problem is, I’m 30 minutes to the closest store in Thornhill and by the time I get there, the tickets would have been snapped by Raps fanatics. The young Raps are first in the Atlantic Division, thanks to the ingenius decision of management to beef up the team with European players rather than cocky NCAA hoopsters. Names such as Andrea Bargnani (Italy), Jose Calderon (Spain), George Garbajosa (Spain) – all rookies except for sophomore Calderon are a fine complement to the 22 year old forward Chris Bosh touted as a potential franchise caliber player. These European boys came to play and not showboat around. Everytime the Raps score more than a hundred in a home game win, the fans get a free slice of pizza from Pizza pizza 🙂 If the stadium capacity is 18,000 and a slice is $2.50, that’s $45,000 extra expense! But who cares – a win is a win and they’d gladly pay $45,000 extra for every home game win in the entire season 🙂

This is ad is kinda’ smart. For those ladies with impatient boyfriends, this bag is for you 🙂 You will easily spot your cellphone from the pile – no need to frantically turn your bag upside down. (Click to enlarge)

How do you like to win this house ?This fully furnished house can be won in a lottery that boasts of 1 in 5 chances to win a prize. It also comes with a Jaguar sedan costing $98,000, $610,000 cash to purchase the land to build the house, $50,000 gift card and a $15,000 home entertainment package. If you can’t handle the math or simply lazy and unable put up with all the aggravation, they’ll give you a check for a cool $ 1.0 million instead 🙂 So which would you prefer ? Remember, you have to buy the ticket first. It’s a hundred bucks per ticket. Don’t worry, it’s for a good cause .

32 Responses

  1. – I think the answer’s more of a “b.”
    – you once commented on my blog that it’s puzzle to you why do we have to return to the former company for clearance after your last day, well, it’s a puzzle for me too.
    – anyway, I added you to my links. would that be okay? ;p

  2. Regarding the Phils being a potential powerhouse of call centers, yeah but I believe that India and China are gaining speed too…I’ve heard call centers are better there.

    Anyway a naked bag…I don’t think so hehe I don’t want people to see what’s inside my bag 🙂

  3. Same here in Japan. It’s much cheaper to call US/Canada than to call the Philippines. It’s a good thing that nowadays I can just use the internet now to talk to my family there. I do think that the day will come when we won’t have to grab our phones anymore. Just go to your PC. 🙂
    Hey, that transparent bag might actually be useful in Pinas. Last time I was there they were still checking bags at entrances to the malls.

  4. Re those big bad telcos in the Philippines. That’s the problem when the government gets too cozy with big businesses. Is it any wonder why we also have one of the highest power rates, and THE most expensive medicines in the region? The most that the government has done so far is come up with excuses for the soaring prices that’s burdening Juan de la Cruz…

    That transparent handbag would be Godsend to muggers here, hehe. 🙂

    5 in 1 chance of winning? For a hundred bucks? I’ll take it…

  5. Jeff – I think it is “b.” as well, characterized by the inflexibility of the giant telcos to allow other carriers to use their infrastructure 😦 Sure pal, you can link me up and I’ll do the same 🙂

  6. Verns – it’s pathetic when the govt brags about competing in the call centre outsourcing when it is expensive to call the Phils. Oh well, if you give a stake of your call centre business to the big telcos back how you will get preferential rates. But for the ordinary Juan de la Cruz it is still a grind and they don’t give a care:(

  7. Kathy – it is scary that one day, long distance calls will be free 🙂 The internet offers boundless possibilities if all households are “wired” 🙂

  8. Sngl – the businesses don’t give a rats ass about the public’s interest. It is all about monopoly and squeezing the most money from the public when there is no alternative. The government doesn’t intervene because ” you know why”.

    See through is becoming a fad with almost anything nowadays 🙂

    The odds 1 in 5 means tickets issued are limited in quantity. Yes it is a real good odds 🙂 You can get three for 250 bucks also 🙂

  9. And have you noticed that even the still struggling former socialist states of Eastern Europe have cheaper rates?

    We have suffered enough of our Raptors, now it’s our turn for Salami and Cheese game after game (ala Chucky). As long as the Boys stay healthy, we are the team to watch. We have the depth and finally the true point guards in TJ and Jose and a decent Centre in Nestorivic. And how about our All Star “the Bosh” and a versatile Rok in Bargani and veteran rokie in Jorge. We are complete.

    Heart and Stroke foundation is our choice of charities. My parents and my elder brother were all victims of heart ailments and in their memories we support the foundation and all its works.

  10. Vic – yes, bring out the salami and cheese tonight after the game with the Clippers 🙂

    Never had luck with the 1 in 5 odds man 🙂 Maybe this year I’ll wager a bit more. It’s for charity anyways and I won’t feel bad 🙂

  11. Hmmm, don’t complain na BW. Calls from the US to Cambodia and vice versa are worth more than $3 a minute. My sisters and I couldn’t call each other at all. 😦

    I would definitely buy a ticket but only if the house comes with a maid and a butlerw… I am NOT cleaning that big house by myself. 🙂

  12. Despite the new legislations and develoments in telecommunications here, there remains a virtual monopoly of the giant PLDT. Everything seem to pass by that company. That’s perhaps why only one or few companies could dictate the prices. The ‘real’ price could be much much lower, we are just blind to that.

  13. That transparent bag is a big no in Pinas where snatchers and pickpockets abound.

  14. Onga no? I think it’s probably the infrastructure as well. I guess it’s more convenient to use Video conferencing on the internet n lng since a lot here in the Phil is already broadband. It’s cheaper as well.

    Yeah. That bag may be too bad to use here. Lots of prying eyes

  15. I am not the biggest NBA fan, but I do know Vince Carter once played for the Raptors before he was traded to the NJ Nets. You gotta love these European basketball players. I’m a Mav fan and Nowitski is stellar! hehehe… and Steve Nash too! (former Mav and a Canadian I think…)

    Pizza and basketball, add beer and I’m in my idea of sports almost heaven. (Heaven would replace basketball with tennis)

    The Philippine long distance rates are ridiculous! It takes advantage of Filipino OFW’s longing for home. Nice one evil telecom companies.

  16. Toe – ouch, $3 per minute is a hole in your pocket 😦 If this is the carrier rate, calling cards should be cheaper! But again maybe they don’t allow discounted calling cards there 😦 Internet voice calling should be popular down there.

    I wouldn’t mind cleaning the house if I win it 🙂 Houses here don’t get much dirty easily anyways. But, Molly Maid is always around to come in anytime as long as you have a few bucks to spare. Heck, maybe is should get the $1M instead 🙂

  17. Major Tom – I believe the real answer is “b” and this is because the govt bends over to the demands of the largest carriers and holds back the deregulation of the market which is necessary to ignite the economy. The best way to perceive this is the largest carriers don’t easily share synergies with the smaller ones. In fact their strategy is to decimate the smaller players. Translated – if you can’t put them out of business, buy them.

  18. i think the answer to the first question is more of b. monopolistic approach is very evident in a lot of the departments and agencies in the Philippines.

    the transparent bag is a requirement of some secondary schools here in the Philippines. dont know if it is done til now.

  19. Ferdz – Infrastructure could be one reason in the sense that RP telcos cannot guarrantee the expected level of service not because of bad equipment but lack of resources. The bad part of monopolistic practices is oversubcription 😦 They just add customers on top of the other and not worry about performance. yes, the internet is great alternative to avoid pricey long distance cost 🙂

  20. Bing – monopolistic practices is very glaring isn’t it 😦 Th ebad part of it is it is the public that suffers.

    Transparent bags in high school? That’s interesting. I guess kids can’t conceal drugs or weapons or that sort of stuff 🙂

  21. bw,
    as far as vince carter is concern, I’d say good riddance. Look at the nets now, he try to hug the ball there, but can’t win games for them. exciting game against the Clippers today. i hope the boys keep playing unselfish basketball, easy baskets if they play that way. and Jorge just give his shot a little arc and it start hitting the basket. nothing but net..

  22. bw, it’s the same story here. phone calls to the Philippines is more expensive than other Asian countries. Yes, sometimes you’ll think whatever is wrong with us?

    I devised a mental plan which pocket to put my mobile phone. Sometimes it’s embarassing that it keeps on ringing and I can’t find it. What’s more, when it rings in a public place! 🙂 So it’s always on a silent mode-vibrate. 🙂

    I love to own that place. I’ll take my chances on a few hundred bucks. If not, I’ll better buy myself a new pair of shoes. 🙂 Honestly, I don’t have a winning streak when it comes to lottery. In short, I have to work my butt off to get what I want! Sad. Exhausting! 🙂

  23. Vic – the salami and cheese were out around noon time today! The victory over the LA Clippers was sweet 🙂 It was pizza time again with the 122-110 home win 🙂

  24. Ipanema – It’s the same all over the world I guess. Long distance call rates to RP are higher than other countries. The perception is that RP is underdeveloped and not at par with most countries in Asia 😦 What hurts is – it is not true. It is the same old story, when the govt bends over to the interests of powerful corporations. What does this translate to ? Doing business with Phils from abroad is expensive 😦 The ad I posted is phone card rates. The standard carrier rates here is between 18-22 cents per min. 😦 Businesses don’t use phone cards – they use the carrier rates) It really sucks .

    Yep, I’ll try my luck with 3 tickets for $250. I might win other prizes, the lowest of which is 100 bucks – balik pera he he 🙂 If I lose, I’ve contributed to a noble cause anyway so it doesn’t hurt that much 🙂 If I win, I’ll certainly blog about it , LOL 🙂

  25. PLDT sucks! I have never seen a company so big and so discombobulated, with most of its employees blatantly conveying indifference to its customers.

  26. Eric – I have a .wav file of a classic customer service confrontation between a PLDT customer care rep and a DSL user
    😦 Couldn’t quite figure out how I can blog it, maybe through a podcast plus I don’t have the time 🙂

    SMART/PLDT is a goliath who runs over everybody. We remember in 1984 when the US govt divested Ma Bell for being “too powerful” and broke it into fully independent RBOCS ( Regional Bell Operating Companies). Now we hear of Bell Atlantic, Pacific Bell, Bell South, etc.. Anti-trust laws in RP? Not in my lifetime perhaps 😦

  27. a hundered bucks for a ticket, grabe mahal. although kaakit akit ang price, personally di ko kaya ata isugal 100 ko, hihihi

  28. Cruise – I know what you mean 🙂 This only happens once a year. My other consolation is – it is being contributed to a charitable cause, to fund a medical reserach project so hindi gaanong masakit 🙂

  29. i think the answer is B for the telecommunications.
    About the bag, it became a fad when i was in highschool or college? but i never intended to buy one. everybody will see kung gano kagulo bag ko. ayaw! hehehe.
    i love pizza! i hope there’ll be a promo here which is like that. hehe
    did you join the lottery? i hope you’ll win. so that when i go there, makikitira ako sa inyo. hehehe ;p

  30. Tin – the Raptors stadium is only a couple of blocks from my office 🙂 Yes, I did buy the tickets but even if I don’t win, you’re still welcome in my present castle 🙂

  31. The $100 lottery ticket sounds very tempting. I think I’ll take the million dollars. 🙂

  32. Niceheart – you bet 🙂 With the money you can acquire lots more 🙂

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