Technology Can Be a Real Bitch

For the last 6 months…no for the last 8 months… we have been working on a summer sales promotion here at Flying Dog.  It was going to be a really good promotion.  We were going to give consumers the chance to win Flying Dog swag by simply sending a text message to a special number.  It was going to be a great promotion because:

  • We cut out all of the headaches of relying on our distributors and retailers to execute the promotion by hanging “neckers” on one bottle of each 6-pack that would hit the shelves within the promotion period (June and July).
  • We cut out all of the professional sweepstakers that send in countless entires to promotions that rely on tear pad entry forms.
  • Finally, all of the product was arriving in the market at just the right time and both distributors and retailers really liked it because they didn’t have to do anything and in their mind, it used just the right amount of technology that would resonate with young adult consumers.

Then: disaster.

Two days before the promotion launch date, I get a call from the agency who was working on this program and they tell me that the “aggregator” that we were going to use went out of business and there was going to be a delay to the launch of the campaign.  oof.

And there I am, stuck with 100,000 promotional pieces hitting the market and not being able to do anything to fix the campaign over the weekend and get it back on track.

I don’t have any lessons or advice on how to prevent this from happening.  All I can say is that technology can be a real bitch sometimes and leave you with very few options on how to resolve a really bad situation.  The only thing I would have done differently is had more contact with the text messaging vendor, but even that may not have changed anything.

We spent today on damage control.  We posted information about the promotion on our website home and promotion page.  We also posted information on our blog.  We are also offering consumers the opportunity to email us if they want to know when the promotion goes online.

Does anyone else have any nightmare promotion stories out there?

The world isn’t going to end and no one is going to get hurt, but it sure does suck when things like this happen.


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