She wears a black dress with shiny black shoes, and full makeup is required to attract customers, along with a (fake) smile. Waking up at eight in the morning to get ready to stand all day long – up to 12 hours – seems exhausting, but for Ghoson Yousef, a 25-year-old full-time promoter, it is just another day. “I start my day early to try to get a feel of the market and the big news of the day, to see if competitors launched something overnight,” she said.
According to her, no matter if you hold a degree or not, without ‘wasta’, you will be just another secretary, receptionist or promoter. “We have to suffer as fresh graduates. But being a promoter is sometimes fun,” Yousef told Kuwait Times. “When you hear the word promoter, you think of the most annoying person who wants to sell anything to the customer. It may look like this, but in fact we are like marketing directors – we study to develop a deep knowledge of our target audience and create a marketing strategy that will help reach a wider audience and ultimately draw more customers,” she explained.
According to Yousef, the job description of a promoter varies depending on the industry. Promoters are decisive, creative and communicative. They’re “idea people”. Promoters should also be witty, energetic, outgoing. They seem to look the part, but Yousef reveals that it hurts like hell. “Imagine standing all the time begging people to buy things they do not want! Sometimes I cry because of the way people snub us, or when my feet hurt,” she said.
Promoters in Kuwait are paid KD 15 to KD 25 per day, to work up to 12 hours sometimes. Yousef said companies from the UAE pay more than KD 50 a day if they are holding exhibitions in Kuwait. A fake Kuwaiti dialect is required during some events, such as election day.
“On election day, candidates choose pretty girls with Kuwaiti looks who have the ability to speak ‘Kuwaiti’ – just a few words – to convince people to vote for them. They pay KD 50 to expats and KD 100 to Kuwaitis to pretend to be their family members or young people who seem to believe in their vision. Usually, they choose five to six girls of varying ages, along with other women and men to stand at a booth with promotional flyers,” Yousef revealed.
At the end of the day, a promoter’s job could be awful, but you get a chance to gain experience in marketing, sales and the business field.
By Faten Omar