Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Surprise Package

I came home from work today to find a big package waiting for me. It had "Fragile" and "This end up" stickers all over it, and it had my name on the label. I stared at it in wonder for a few minutes, trying to figure out who might be sending me a package, when I noticed my BzzAgent screen name on the label, and remembered that I had just signed up for a few new campaigns, so this must be one of my new products. BzzAgent is a word of mouth advertising company that sends me free stuff on the presumption that I will like the stuff and tell people about it, thus doing their advertising for them. It seems to work pretty well, and the one product that I had been sent so far (Take 5 candy bars) made a complete believer out of me and I wouldn't stop talking about that perfect combination of salty and sweet for weeks. I think I am the ideal candidate for them because I tend to get really excited about trying new things, and want to share them with everyone. So I tried to remember what I had signed up for that could possibly be that big and that fragile, but I drew a blank. I opened the box with great curiosity.

The box appeared to be filled with nothing but packing peanuts. I dug through it for a while, making a mess of the floor, wondering if maybe they had forgotten to pack the product and just sent me an empty box. Then my hand found a something wrapped in bubble wrap. A candy bar. I remembered, then, that one of the campaigns I had signed up for was the follow-up campaign to the Take 5 test run I had participated in earlier. Hooray for more chocolate!

Packing Box

A closer look:


In case you can't read the writing on my blurry photo, the card attached to the candy bar says, "Over-protective? Or the greatest candy bar ever?"

I'm a sucker for a good ad campaign. Jer and I like to reward good ads with our patronage and punish bad ads by refusing to buy their products. If only I was a beer drinker, I would drink a lot of Molson because of their "My name is Joe and I am Canadian" campaign, and I will never order a Miller because of their stupid, sexist, annoying "Man Laws" campaign. Honestly, until I received this package, I was neither hot or cold about the Take 5 "Greatest candy bar ever" television ads, which border on annoying but are at least playful and fun. Something about the giant box of packing peanuts pushed me over the edge to hot, however. It tickled my funny bone in just the right way.

Jeremy's first comment was, "What a waste!" But really, is it that much more wasteful than paying actors, directors, camera crews, etc. to make a dorky television commercial? And after all, nothing is a waste if it gives me something to blog about. Thanks, Mr. Hershey!


twilighttreader said...

Wow, that really was a smooth marketing move. After all, you wouldn't have blogged it if they hadn't sent it that way... so we'd never have read about it... heh, clever. Now if only all commercials were so inspired.

How you been otherwise?

Trish said...

I just spent the last hour signing up for the bzzagent thing. Of course, having had a concentration in Marketing and writing my Senior Seminar paper on One-to-One marketing, this is an exciting opportunity for me. Plus I can get free stuff! LOL.

lisa b said...

I just signed up....yeah! I was surprised that they were looking for Canadians...of course there's nothing happening right now....but I can't wait until there is!

Novac said...

Awesome campaign. It's just too bad that it reaches out to so few at a time. I'd love to meet the ad agency that has the chutzpah to pitch this idea. "Yeah, I thought maybe we could take your candy bar, wrap it up in bubble wrap, fill a big box with styrofoam peanuts, and shove it near the bottom. Isn't that a great idea?"

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