A “Surgical Sale” in Kashmir. For 34-yer-old Junaid Handoo, a post graduate in marketing from a university in Mumbai, it was just another attractive name for sale at his family-run shop in Srinagar. The creative marketing strategy went terribly wrong for this MBA pass-out as within hours of the announcement on the sale of garments at his Habba Khatoon shop, the young man had to call off the promotion scheme.

But as pictures of the banners carrying the discount offer clicked at his shop were shared on social media, the creativity proved to be a “food for trollers.”

“Within hours, I could see massive abuse against our business after the pictures went viral. My creativity in business was unduly politicised; some said it was ‘Modi shock’, others said it was ‘government shock’ though none of that was my idea,” Handoo told UnUth. “Our family decided better to call off the offer than be into controversy,” he added.

“Actually I have been trying creative titles for my marketing schemes. When markets reopened after 2014 floods, I named the discount as “Sale Ab Discount” resembling Sailaab, which means floods. Likewise, I had named a winter discount as Sale-e-Kalan taking inspiration from Chilay Kalan, the local name for the chilliest 40-day spell of winters in Kashmir.”

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But why did Hando name the discount offer “Surgical Sale”?

Junaid says he wanted to give a “creative treat” to people thronging the city center during relaxation period during the ongoing unrest. “But my imagination was overpowered by politics,” he rues.