Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Biscuits and Basketball

Many people outside North Carolina may not know about a particular promotion Bojangle's, the chicken and biscuits fast food chain, does for UNC basketball fans, but I think it's rather brilliant.

The set up is, if UNC scores 100 or more points against an opponent during a game, Chapel Hill area Bojangle's offer 2 sausage biscuits for a dollar the next morning.

At the end of last nights game, UNC was crushing Marshall. With a few minutes left, UNC was within a few shots of the 100 mark. Many fans were on the edge of their seats, in hopes of getting those 50 cent biscuits in the morning. The hopes for biscuits made things exciting during what would have otherwise been an unexciting conclusion to the game.

The marketing scheme is a win-win. It works for both UNC basketball and for Bojangles because fans stick around for the end of a game when they otherwise wouldn't and also get excited about Bojangle's product. The promotion has been going on for several years, so even casual UNC fans know to cheer the team on when they're approaching 100 points. I think Bojangle's sponsorship/promotional dollars are being well-spent on this approach to marketing. The 'Biscuits' promo seems to be much more worth the money than any court-side banner or marquee elsewhere in the arena.

For businesses to make such a promotion work there has to be the right combination of loyal fans, a strong athletic program, and a suitable product. I think Bojangles and UNC have figured out the formula.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

AT&T Challenges Verizon

We've all seen cell phone commercials. There's a multitude of them and it seems that each company has it's own gimmick, theme, or celebrity. Recently I have noticed a couple TV ads that stand out. They're from AT&T and feature actor, Luke Wilson.

I noticed the ads because they are fighting back Verizon's recent claims. Verizon puts great deal of emphasis on their "4G" coverage, and how they out-do AT&T. I noticed (before the new AT&T commercials came out) that when Verizon shows a comparison between the map of their coverage and that of their competitors, they only show 4G. They never compare the total coverage area. In other words, it seems to me that Verizon may have a greater number of super awesome spots, but they have a lot more spots that have mediocre or poor coverage than they're competitors. AT&T has taken to pointing this fact out to the rest of the world.

There are several commercials in the series, but my favorite is the "Postcard" one, which shows Luke Wilson tossing postcards that represent all of the places that AT&T has coverage. I like the ad because the commercial specifically addresses Verizon's claims, it's not an overly complicated concept, it gets its point across visually and it does something clever that I've never seen any other commercial do.

It has a part one and a part two. When you see the commercial, after 30 seconds, it moves on to the next product's advertisement. Then, before you've returned to the program you tuned in to watch, you see Luke Wilson again for a few seconds, continuing to toss out postcards. Brilliant! It reminds the customer about the product without bombarding them. It's pleasantly unexpected and not annoying. It turns 60 seconds of advertising $ into a couple minutes because during those other commercials in between you assume Luke has been tossing postcards the whole time. I think the whole thing was not only clever, but results-oriented. (Too many commercials are neither, but that's another soap box.)

I thought the commercial was great, as well as the other one's in AT&T's recent line up.
What do you think? See for yourself.