Is That A Refrigerator On Your Back? J&R's Promo Odyssey

J&R Music and Computer World now boasts same-day delivery to consumers living in the metro New York area. The company celebrated the new service by launching its first-ever guerilla campaign, placing a unique spin on two New York City staples: bike messengers and Chinese takeout menus. 

If you live or work in the city, chances are you've had a close encounter with a speedy bike messenger, or found heaps of take-out menus under your door.

Toy New York hired three bike messengers to carry an unusual load throughout Manhattan: a refrigerator-sized box strapped to each of their backs. Messengers rode throughout the city last week and will continue their trek until Tuesday. Each messenger rides for six hours a day. I hope empty cardboard is lightweight.

There's also a Twitter promotion attached to the bike messenger campaign. Anyone who sees a messenger bicycling along should take a picture and tweet it to @jrblog; those who submit the first 10 pictures each day receive a $10 J&R gift card.

Tomorrow, be on the lookout for messengers in the Wall Street, Union Square, East Village and Chelsea sections of the city.

The promotion's takeout menus are so cleverly designed that it takes a second and third look to realize there's no food on the menu. A whopping 43,000 menus were distributed via street teams under apartment doors, lobbies, mails slots and public areas.

The menu is divided into seven categories: audio; digital cameras and accessories; travel accessories; housewares & personal care; video; unlocked phones & bluetooth; and for the car. Certain products have an icon appearing next to them. Rather than denoting a spicy meal, this icon translates into an "awesome deal."

"We wanted to get across the concept of same-day delivery in a way New Yorkers would appreciate," said Ari Merkin, chief creative officer, Toy New York. "And nothing says New York like bike messengers and take-out menus. It's an approach that's true to New York and true to J&R, a distinctly New York brand."

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2 comments about "Is That A Refrigerator On Your Back? J&R's Promo Odyssey ".
  1. Robert Sawyer , December 7, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.

    A smart and lovely bit of work, and inexpensive, too, but I wonder if the idea is as well thought out as it is clever by a half.

    First, most New Yorkers have a visceral dislike for bike messengers, and, perhaps the only thing they might dislike more, are the menus slid under their doors, or littering their stoops. So while in principle J&R played on two City icons, they picked too of the most despised, but in no way does the novelty of their use, change the perception. But as I always tell my clients, "Sales will tell."

    I wish Toy the best of luck with their work and congratulate J&R for giving Toy the chance to fail.

    PS J&R, $10 dollars off is rather cheap and hardly an incentive for someone to stop mid-stride in Holiday traffic, and cold wet weather, to stop to snap a photo. The minimum I suggest to turn that incentive into a meaningful sale would be $50.

  2. James Wood from HD Productions , December 26, 2009 at 2:13 p.m.

    Using same delivery via cycle courier maybe a great way to push the idea of being green and reducing carbon footprint.