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Newsletter #809: The “Why Not?” Issue

Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Most marketers ask “why?” — but the great ones usually ask “why not?” Here are a few fantastic examples of the latter:

1> Let some cats loose
2> Humanize a vending machine
3> Celebrate the Dave’s
4> Check it out: Young Me Now

1> Let some cats loose

IKEA is among the best brands at finding unique, unexpected ways to get people talking. Recently, someone in the marketing department must have asked, “Hey, what if we let a herd of cats loose in one of our stores and filmed whatever happens?” And that’s exactly what they did. The result is an incredibly popular viral video that subtly features hundreds of their products (and hundreds of cats too — none of which were harmed).

The lesson: Never underestimate how much your fans might love the next bizarre idea you come up with.

Learn more: Gizmodo

2> Humanize a vending machine

Most companies are happy just to have their vending machines working. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” is the classic line — but if people aren’t talking about it, it’s broken. Kit Kat was rewarded with a bunch of buzz, publicity, and good laughs when they asked “why not?” and opted to put a human in their vending machine. The quirky stunt caught people off guard in a crowded train station, drawing lots of people who probably had never before said, “Hey, I think I’ll buy a Kit Kat today” during their commute.

The lesson: If you’re not making it weird, strange, purple, or stretchy — why not?

Learn more: Brand Flakes for Breakfast

3> Celebrate the Dave’s

Why not set aside a day to celebrate a special group of your fans? Famous Dave’s BBQ recently did it by declaring August 1st as “Dave’s Day” — where anyone named Dave (or David or Davy) received a complimentary entree. They even extended the deal with a half-off entree offer for anyone whose middle name was Dave. The goofy holiday was an easy way for them to make the Daves of the world feel great — and get them to bring in all their friends too.

The lesson: Why not find every excuse you can to do special things for special groups of talkers?

4> Young Me Now

You know those old, iconic photographs of yourself when you were just a kid? Ever want to go back? You’re not alone. Check out Ze Frank’s “Young Me Now” where hundreds of people are reliving their childhood.

Check it out: Young Me Now

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