Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Whopping Good Ad?

This morning a few people different people have brought the newest piece of viral from Burger King to my attention. There is a number of reasons for this.

1. It is a great example of driving traffic to a microsite

2. It demonstrates the use of engaging content that tells a story and doesn't 'shout' at consumers

See this article for a wrap up.

What it did for me however was produce a massive lump in my throat.

Whilst the producers of the piece put a moralistic spin on the content, purporting that both the 'whopper virgins' and the researchers were focused on learning new things and sharing cultural intricacies, overall it is simply another instance of commercial powers taking advantage of the less developed for capitalist reasons.

From viewing the piece I got no insight into the non-American cultures involved in the resaerch, rather my outtake was exactly what the advertiser wanted - that the Whopper was more popular than the Big Mac. Perhaps this piece would have resonated better if the moralistic spin was omitted and the piece was broadcast as exactly what it was, a ploy to sell more burgers.

I just hope the research participants got paid in US Dollars before the global ecomony went into a downward spiral.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm a freerider & happier for it

Sometime ago Todd blogged about how different business reward their customers for loyalty.
Well yesterday I experienced this in a way that I don't think the brand ever intended.

I exited the office at 5.35pm (unusual I know, but I had taken half a day annual leave) and walked to my regular bus stop. After waiting for around 2 minutes I saw a big green bus approaching. FREE it said on the front. So on I jump, ticket machines disabled, bus driver smiling and seats readily available.

Now I'm sure the service was launched as a tourism initiative. A way to "get you around the City for shopping, business or to connect with other transport" says the website. But what it did for me was far greater.

It sent me home from my day feeling a little happier and with a little more change in my pocket. It meant I could buy a coffee this morning instead of begrudgingly making a Nescafe Blend 43 (not that there's anything wrong with that). It made me feel like State Transit were apologising for the bus that hadn't turned up earlier in the week and made me late for work.

Indeed, the free ride enhanced my public transport experience.

And this is at the core of a good experience. Something that a brand adds which improves an otherwise mundane experience.

So even if it was inadvertent, thanks State Transit for imrpoving my day... you'll be pleased to know that as a result of my Free Ride I told two people about the experience and am now reaching lots of others via this post (lets hope your froward thinking extends into a listening strategy as well!).