Someone just wasted this $65 bottle of Champagne #MarketingFail

My assistant walked into my office earlier today with a FedEx delivery that had the heft of a bottle of wine.  Based on the telltale weight – and the fact that is Friday afternoon – she knew she had to deliver it to me. Stat.

It had been a long week, so I excitedly opened the box to see what strategy I would employ based on the kind of wine:

  1. Cheap wine: Leave it out in the kitchen for desperate engineers.
  2. Nice wine: Start the weekend a little early with some of my nearby co-workers.
  3. Really nice wine: Take it home to share with my wife.
  4. Really, really nice wine: eBay.

I opened the box and was confronted with a slight curve ball.  Champagne.  And a nice bottle at that.  The only problem is that my wife doesn’t like Champagne and I’m not a big fan either.  So I decided to set it aside.

Then I realized something: there wasn’t anything else in the box.  Who sent this to me?  Was this one of those campaigns where someone was going to call me next week with some lame line about the “mystery Champagne delivery”?

About 30 minutes later, I went to put the box in the recycling and I realized that there was a little bit of white stuck way down in the packaging.  I had to dismantle the box to even reach it.  I finally dug it out and found the call to action letter inside – hand addressed and signed.


The irony is that the campaign was from a company that specialized in campaign performance management!  Then I realized that they actually made another big mistake.  The campaign was targeted at chief marketing officers: my former job (I’m currently a general manager of a line of business).

This made me realize that maybe campaign performance management software alone wasn’t the best way to get performance out of a campaign.  Perhaps they should have focused on some of their campaign tactics instead: designing a package that made sure I saw the call to action and validating their data to make sure that their ~$100 per contact mailing was getting to the right contact.

There is a happy ending to the story (for me, not for the company who sent the Champagne).  It turns out that just after I experienced this piece of marketing malpractice, I got some news that one of our teams reached an important milestone.  I grabbed the Champagne, walked it over to the manager of the team and the team was able to celebrate their success with a little bubbly.

Unfortunately, the designer of this campaign isn’t going to be popping any corks soon…