March 29, 2013 — I suppose that a 2013, 4-door Dodge Dart SXT with a base price around $16-K is a vehicle that would be nice to own. But it also appears that to get that car revved up with many of the bells and whistles — including more driving muscle — you’d have to drop at least another $10-K and then you’d still be driving, IMO, a cramped, compact, not-too-spiffy sedan.
And what does that have to do with Timeshare, you ask?
Here’s the scoop: So let’s say you are a tourist on vacation in Las Vegas, NV, staying at the upscale Palazzo or the Wynn/Encore Hotels. And while in your suite looking at some apps on your hand-held (or reading printed brochures) for ‘things-to-do’ you and your spouse decide to take a taxi to a nearby off-strip local Mall so the two of you can ‘shop till ya drop’.
During the short cab ride to The Boulevard Mall you notice you are passing through what could be perceived as a rough area and indeed the cabbie warns you to call her when you are ready to return, claiming ‘this neighborhood has a high crime rate’. And she then recommends that whatever you do when you leave the Mall under no circumstances should you walk the short distance back to the hotel.
So there you are window shopping in the Mall and soon you approach a new car on display in the middle of the indoor shopping center with a small cheaply made unattractive lectern near the back end of the vehicle and the car is surrounded by 6 short chrome-plated poles with ropes connecting one pole to another in order to prevent people from getting too close to this ‘gem’.
It is then you notice the signs and entry forms to be filled out that offer the “Chance In A Lifetime Giveaway”, seemingly to win this Dodge and although you have no need or desire for this type of vehicle you decide to take a closer look at the Dart and subsequently those entry forms.
Once you start reading the entry form you see that you “must be 18 or older to enter” and that entrants must specify their age range of “Under 25”, “25-29” or “over 30”. Next you must select your “yearly income” and the options are “under 40-K”, “40-49,000”, “50-59,000” or “over 60”.
They (the form) also want to know if you are planning to buy a new car within 30 to 90 days, what make and model you will be buying and then they ask for the year, make and model you are currently driving.
It all seems fairly innocent and after all the promo is in a Mall. But with both a 2-year-old Cadillac and brand new $85,000 Lexus LX 570 SUV you recently leased securely tucked away in the garage back home you really don’t need another vehicle; and besides this Dart is painted Competition Orange and the color just doesn’t represent your ‘lifestyle’ either.
But then you think maybe you can win and give it to your younger Sister who needs a new car so you start to fill out the form and as you are prepared to affix your signature you notice that by doing so you are giving “Sponsor/Marketing Partner” permission to call your phone number “regarding this promotional giveaway or its products/services.”
Well that reads pretty ambiguous so you quickly flip over the entry form to see if there is any additional information and there in subatomic fonts on the backside you discover who that “Sponsor/Marketing Partner” is and what their objective seems to be in this “Chance In A Lifetime Giveaway”.
Yes, it is of course a timeshare developer and none other than the good folks at Star Point Resorts Group, Inc. whose business (as printed thereto) “is vacation ownership marketing”. And that “All gifts and prices associated with the $100,000 Chance In A Lifetime Giveaway may only be delivered following a GeoHoliday Club sales presentation…”
Reading further and continuing to strain your eyes you discover that unlike on the front side of the entry form, whereby you only need be “18” for that “Chance In A Lifetime Giveaway”, on the back side you must be at least “25” years of age and no older than “71” for “all gifts and prices” and regardless of the age an annual household income of at least $40-K is required.
There are additional ‘terms/conditions’ printed on the back side of the form. But oddly there is no mention whatsoever of that 2013 Dodge Dart SXT that is the focus of the giveaway and the form clarifies that “the purpose of this promotion is to attempt to sell you a timeshare interest in GeoHoliday Club (Starpoint Resort Group, Inc. is the developer of GeoHoliday Club)”.
“Attempt” is a column unto itself and of course developers like Star/Geo still seem to hold dearly to their hearts the notion that a low income 25-year-old is a qualified ‘sales guest’ (aka: Hot Prospect) to purchase a timeshare, interest as are those ‘sales guests’ who are 71 years of age.
But what perplexes my mind with developers like Star/Geo is why they make the choice to market using a small orange Dodge when for the same amount of time & energy they could display something comparable to what they are ultimately going to “attempt” to sell anyway, like a brand new tri-coat painted pearl white $845,000.00 (- +) Porsche 918 Spider?
Okay, that vehicle was (maybe) a bad example but what about a luxury $65,000 2013 BMW Hybrid or maybe a brand new $85,000 Jaguar FX XFR or the new Lincoln SUV Navigator that also shows nicely and comes in at a modest base sticker price around $60,000?
Surely doing so would attract not only those entrants whose ‘car-dream’ is akin to a Dodge but would also spark the interest of higher income professionals who may have even graduated from college more than a decade or two ago. And what real timeshare sales pro wouldn’t want to have those sales guests at the table?
I can only assume that whoever the marketing person is for Star/Geo she/he firmly believes, and rightfully so, that this time of the year the Mall would be hopping full of electrified young adults, Spring Breakers and all the March Madness enthusiasts visiting Las Vegas.
And that a small inexpensive orange colored Dodge would be the perfect ‘ticket’ to attract those ‘vacationers’ (and locals) to eagerly stuff the boxes full of entry forms so that the Star/Geo marketing team could continue to fill their sales center with even more of these highly desirable sought after big spending globe-trotting vacationers.
This is for all you good people in marketing: “Big Spender”
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services--- and, of course, all the 'Good', the 'Bad' and the 'Ugly'.
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