Lessons from Brazil – The Perpetual Promocao


Not a day goes by that I don’t see a sale sign in a window or above a store’s front door. It’s a marketing trick, but shhh! don’t tell anyone! In fact, I shouldn’t even be telling you this at all because now the secret is out and the rest of the world will surely follow suit! What’s that, you say? Having a sale is nothing new? Well, in Brazil, it’s all about the perpetual sale. It brings people from far and near because no one can resist a sale, especially when…it…never…ends.

The gig is up, Brazil. No one actually thinks your sale is actually a sale. You’re certainly not getting a job promotion for your ‘promoção’ idea, but nice try. Since we’re talking about marketing, might as well also tell you (this goes out to, cough, street vendors) that there’s no use in advertising those 20 flavors of ice cream either. We know you only have 7 available.


Personally, I don’t care for your temporary sales. It’s a dumb way to get rid of a product you no longer want in your store. A loss leader is one thing but I don’t want your crappiest product just because it’s cheaper…and don’t tell me I’ll “save” money on it, that’s insulting to my intelligence (you obviously can’t save money by spending it). While we’re at it, those loyalty cards (ie, the Safeway Club Card), I’m on to you and your buddies. Your Pavlovian marketing is primarily designed to punish those who have no card and track those who do, rather than simply help those who are “loyal” to save money. Alas, I digress…

Edit: Not sure why this got no reader response, it was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. Fazer o quê?


2 thoughts on “Lessons from Brazil – The Perpetual Promocao

  1. I have just found out about this blog, and so far it’s really interesting to see how non-brazilians living in our country perceive us and our reality. Unfortunately I’m a carioca who has never been to the NE (a flaw that I wish to correct soon enough), but from what I can tell, I guess that no-one has made any comment here because this is such a well known fact for us that it became white noise. We know that that promoção is just regular prices or the scraps of last season’s sale, but the thing is, sometimes these things are so expensive we just go with the flow and try to enjoy the moments we get (there is actually a huge annual fair in Rio where one can buy the most expensive brand clothes at lower prices. We all know that even those prices are way above the fair price – the owners probably get enourmous profit margins – but since this is the only time one can have a brand item, these fairs are always packed with stores and public). Other times we know that is the regular price, but since we need it, we buy it. We know there is no promoção on the prices the street vendors are asking, but he/she thinks that this strategy helps his/her sales, and we want what he/she’s offering, so we just ignore the rest of the speech. I think this is odd myself, but I guess it’s like the culture of negotiating in some countries. We know that we will buy whatever it is at a lower price, and they (the seller) knows it too. Still, there is no way of buying it (for a good price, that is) without going through the whole ritual of bargaining.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that it feels really refreshing for me to see a blog about Brazil that is not entirely focused on our bad aspects. Even better to see one that tries to show other regions, instead of just showing Rio and/or São Paulo!

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