Thursday, January 31, 2008

A fresh marketing idea from Salad Spinners

Last Friday, evening commute. I finished my book just a few minutes into the trip, so I looked up to check out the train car's ads. I saw a cute one for Salad Spinners, a local chain of create-your-own salad lunch spots, but while the headline and visual were nice, what really intrigued me was ant copy underneath. It congratulated me for reading the fine print and offered a word puzzle. Solve the puzzle, the ad promised, and you could qualify for a prize.

The puzzle was pretty simple, and I emailed Rich Levy the answer from my Blackberry. Yes, the CEO's personal email address was listed on a subway ad.

Before the weekend was over, I'd received a reply from Rich saying that his marketing team would get me the first of my rewards early in the week.

True to his word, I received a reusable $1.00 coupon Monday morning. And today I got another email from Rich:

Thank you for solving our puzzle on the CTA. In doing so you have identified yourself to me as someone who is in the know and pays attention to whats going on in this city - and someone I would like to seek more advice from in the future.
This has been a very fun marketing experiment. So far we have had over 300 people that solved the puzzle and emailed us.
And in addition to the re-usable $1 bill that we sent you, I would like to buy you lunch. All I need you to do is complete this short survey and shortly thereafter (less than 3 days) I will email you a code that you can use at any Salad Spinners location for a free salad.

Warm Regards (especially this week)
Rich Levy
Head Tomato

Now, I've always liked Salad Spinners. They seem committed to American farmers and theirfood is fresh and tasty (although they've been known to get my order wrong on occasion). But I've never talked about their restaurants.

Until now. By adding a spark of creativity (and interactivity) to an otherwise standard transit campaign, Rich Levy and his marketing team have found 300 new brand ambassadors for their brand.