It’s hot inside, outside it’s freezing, outside, we’re all broke and the only addictions we can afford are the ones that involve clicking on tags from Andrew’s party last Friday.

So, the magic question is: How can brands get us out of our bedrooms and onto the High St? And how can they get us to loosen the purse strings in these tough times?

Well, they should offer us real value, in places where we will see it, at prices we can all afford. And they should make our lives a little more enjoyable, even if only for a fleeting moment.

Starbucks in the US have come up with an idea that does just that and one that should get people engaged, dressed and down to their stores faster then you can say Skinny Frappuccino: from the 1st of January they have been giving away free frappuccinos on their Facebook fan page.

You can’t run from it, you’re on Facebook, you’re hot and the little luxuries that you had to sacrifice for bills, like premium ice cream, might just provide that little piece of escapism that you’ve been craving.

The campaign to promote the product is simple: Facebook as the vehicle, frappuccinos as the incentive and winter for its time of delivery. All of which encourage sharing.

The choice of Facebook as the sole vehicle, as opposed to multiple platforms (which is tempting but often unsuitable), is perfect given the sharable nature of the site and it’s ability to cater for rich media, such as glorious pictures of said product. The offer is limited to 20,000 frappuccinos, and although this sounds like a lot there are a lot more hot people on Facebook than that.

All it requires is the user to log on, sign up, suggest a mate and at the top of the hour grab the coupons on offer, but remember, it’s all about sharing so bring out your generous side.

WOSSY BOOK CLUB

There are two reasons that I liked what I read about the Wossy book club – started by Jonathan Ross on twitter, apparently as a response to the end of Richard and Judy`s (in)famous book club – the first being the new and clever use of twitter, and the second being the innovative response of publishers Pan Macmillan.

The announcement of #wossybookclub, and the naming of Men Who Stare At Goats as the first featured book have resulted in:

  • Sales of the book on amazon increasing from by 7,000%
  • Pan Macmillan allowing free access to the ebook of Men Who Stare At Goats for the duration of the book club
  • An unofficial site being set up for the club at www.wossybookclub.com

Macmillan allowed free access to the ebook for one hour on the site Exact Editions, as well as a preview of the first chapter which is still available.

I did not attend the book club – which has now had its second week I believe – and have no idea how well twitter could facilitate any kind of sensible discussion, but I thought it was brilliant that (according to netimperative) twitterers were able to reference their tweets with links to individual pages of the book.

“This is the first time that a trade publisher has made a fiction title freely available to facilitate a live online discussion.

This is a real nice example of how a simple idea can make huge waves through social media (though in this case it did rely on a high-profile name), and of how a business can respond quickly to offer people something for free to facilitate a movement that is sure to benefit them hugely.

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