Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do not anger the audience

My father-in-law is a football fan from Montana. One of his teams (mainly because of proximity) is the Seattle Seahawks. He told me of a strange promotion for the Washington State Lottery during a Seahawks game earlier this season.

A total disregard for the audience
25,000 fans received a yellow cap courtesy of Washington's Lottery. (That's me sporting the funny looking yellow cap.) Instructions were given along with the cap that read:
Wear your lucky cap to each home game starting October 12, 2008 for your chance to be one of 30 instant winners of $500!
Sounds good right? Pretty straight forward. They even stated there would only be five winners per game.

So why is this worth noting?
How about for the simple fact that, according to my father-in-law, this made Seahawks fan mad. But why would fans be upset at a promotion that was designed to give them some cash?

Poor color choice pissed off their audience.

The yellow cap with the little green logo looks suspiciously like Green Bay Packers colors. The Lottery promotion organizers likely chose the color to match their own brand colors, which are not really that close to Seahawks colors. As I understand it, many of these yellow caps found there way to trash cans, urinals, rooftops, middle-of-the-street, etc. as a sign of solidarity for the Seahawks faithful who wouldn't be caught dead wearing enemy colors. I'm also going to bet that alcohol played a minor role in some of the more colorful options of trashing the caps. By the way, the promotion's October 12 start date happened to be the Seahawks game vs. the Packers, so that didn't help matters either.

There's a lesson here
When thinking through a campaign, it is always a good idea to view it through the eyes of your audience instead of just rolling out what might otherwise be a good idea, otherwise it just might fail or worse, make people mad.

Special thanks to my father-in-law from sharing his experience and giving me his hat. I think I'll keep it as a reminder to remember the audience.