The company behind such popular games as “Skyrim” and all its prequels had an offer where you would earn all of their games for life on one condition. If you had your son born on 11/11/11, Skyrim’s release date, and name him “Dovahkiin”; the in-game word for“dragon-born.” Your call. How big of a fan are you, anyway?
On July 13th, you got a free meal at Chic-Fil-A if you dressed “head to hoof” in a cow costume. If they were trying to aid hunger in the United States, they only catered (pun intended) to the demographic that happened to own full cow costumes, and chances are, if you own a cow costume, you probably didn’t need that free meal. But politics aside, it’s a good way to bolster customer engagement, even if it is excessive.
If you’ve been on Chicago Transit in the last year, chances are you’ve come across an entire car filled with ads for a “kidnapped Chicagoan,” usually accompanied by images that beg the viewers to laugh and play along, but just end up inspiring disinterested confusio. I decided to visit the site they were advertising, kidnappedchicgn.com. When I did, I was greeted by an odd picture of a 30-something tied to a chair with rope, sans the general affectation one would be expected to wear if tied to a chair against their will. The kidnapper, basically begging to be caught at this point, lists his age, phone number , his “status,” which is currently at “kidnapped,” and his interests, which include pizza, tweeting, beer, and “thick mustaches.” Is this simply an advertising campaign that makes light of an issue so serious and real to a lot of people? Apparently, no, at least not advertently. The ad campaign turns out to be promo for the city of St. Louis. I’m not sure now that I’d want to visit such a place where they’re so desperate for tourists they have to hold one captive inorder to get them to stay.
Would this be considered an act of marketing genius, or just something incredibly stupid? The furniture store offered customers up to $10,000 of free furniture if the Bears shut out the Packers. When they did, hundreds of customers came rushing in, clearing out over $300,000 of merchandise. WTF, right? Well, what you don’t know is that the owner, Randy Gonigam, insured the store with Odds On Promotions; a company that specializes in reimbursement for situations like this. He also had customers sign a contract saying the furnature could not be returned. Gonigam says they’ve seen a “dramatic increase in traffic to our website… and an awful lot of the peole we’ve talked to plan to buy more stuff.”
In 2006, the Australian marketing team hosted an event in New York entitled “Beers for Bags,” where people could trade in their empty beer bottles for bags. Messenger bags, laptop bags, backpacks, you name it… if you drank the beer, the bags were yours. As soon as this promotion started, the New York stores were overflowing with customers, increasing sales by 10%. Crumpler now hopes to make this an annual event.
What can you add to the list?