Is the juice worth their squeeze

Let's face it, we're a lazy people.  The idea of actually getting up to change the TV channels or hand crank open a car window is almost offensive to us.

We are used to our conveniences.  And we don't expend a significant amount of effort without getting something of note in return.  And yet, we seem to forget this human truth when concocting some of our marketing efforts.

As you are crafting a new campaign or gimmick that you hope will go viral — always ask yourself, is the juice worth the squeeze for my audience.

Ciro3_drewmclellan Let me give you an example.  These photos are the pizza box top from a place called Ciro's.  It's a fun idea and an eye-catching, almost handwritten design.  Here's what they want their customers to do:

  • Cut out Ciro from the top of the pizza box (Scissors, a knife, exacto blade?)
  • Carry Ciro around with you until you go someplace interesting
  • Have a camera (or cell phone with a camera) with you and remember to snap a photo of yourself and Ciro
  • E-mail them the photo so they can put it on their wall

Ciro2_drewmclellan What's in it for you?  A free pizza.

For a poor college student, this is probably just the thing to do on a Friday night.  Especially after a couple beers.  God only knows where Ciro has appeared.

But for a busy mom or harried business guy ordering pizza from his hotel room, probably not going to happen.  A free pizza just isn't worth the hassle.

Whether you want your customers to fill out a survey, prospects to play a scavenger hunt, or want to try some variation of the drive them to a website, 800 number or bounce back card — always remember that you need to make the reward worthy of the effort.

And not everyone will judge that through the same lens.  So decide who is most important to you and design the reward for them.  Hopefully Ciros wanted to capture the college crowd.

What do you think…do most marketers ask themselves this question before launching a new initiative?

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8 comments on “Is the juice worth their squeeze

  1. I dont know Drew… I think a busy mom would in fact like a free pizza. After all, if she’s busy, she wont have time to cook.

    And this whole thing reminds me of Flat Stanley,

  2. Rob says:


    The example given seems like such a low risk to reward factor and it’s a pain for the customer. They paid a few more pennies for the ink to get their customers to do their promotion.

    My gut tells me you need to risk more, give more power to the customer, consider them more for real return. Step in their world first, thats how I live out tech support. Get the whole picture, give the whole solution and it creates a fan for life.

  3. Recently, I was at an Applebee’s restaurant, and they had this phone survey to rate the service (for a “chance” to win a $1,000 prize – yeah, right!). The series of questions was so detailed and ridiculous that I gave up – the survey would take longer than the meal! Who thought that up?

  4. It is a nice idea, but can people be bothered to go out of there way to do something like that, for most i would say no, but maybe thoughs people are not your target market.

  5. Joe Winn says:

    Exchanging the cutout for a pre-cut Ciro taped to the box would vastly improve participation for this promotion. Performing the actual cutting is a hassle – not to mention dangerous – and it’d be highly inconvenient to lug around a piece of inflexible cardboard all week.

    Were customers able to fold Ciro and stuff him in a pocket or purse, then summon him at a cool location for a photo shoot with a smart phone, overall participation would surge. Moreover, they would be carrying in their pocket or purse a constant reminder of your product, likely inspiring a few additional sales.

    You gotta make the squeeze as simple and painless as possible. The risk of cutting off a finger for a free pizza just isn’t worth it.

  6. Laynie Kelly says:

    I agree … this is just an extension of the Flat Stanley school project campaign, except with no learning and an enticement of a free feed. If the pizzas are absolutely incredible, chances increase for engagement and redemption. As a busy harried woman, I wouldn’t be cutting, tearing, ripping the character off the top of the box omplete with pizza topping stuck to the back. Take it on a trip somewhere, take it’s photo and then email it in. Yes I have a smart phone with a camera, but I couldn’t be bothered. My value perception of effort for reward is it’s not worth it.

  7. Darcy Burnett says:

    I think marketing ideas like this are not always about whether you act on the idea, but how much you react to the idea. Take the pizza box – while some of us may not take the time to cut it out, carry it around, take a photo and e-mail it, there is a consensus that it is interesting, engaging and memorable. That’s likely more effective than giving away free pizzas. The idea that they would have given you a free pizza might be all it takes to get you to return or tell others.

  8. Kevin Warhus says:

    I feel like while you are correct about the laziness of people you would be surprised at what people are willing to do to have the efforts recognized. I think blogs, youtube, wikipedia, and things of that nature stand a testimony to that. The success in these area really show that people are willing to do a lot for no real reward other than to have said they have done it and are proud to get to show others.

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