Jody Wolak, marketing operations manager at Moosejaw, the offbeat outdoor products retailer, was a participant. And she offered up examples of email-based "humanization" marketing, or maybe "in-humanization."
Last year, the company launched a "Break Up Service," where it volunteered through email to help the cowardly and make the uncomfortable relationship-ending calls. The participants emailed in details for the Moosejaw callers to use, including reason for the dumping.
In one call, Moosejaw helped "Carly" break up with "Parker," while having the caller say she felt he was "not going anywhere in life and you may have gotten a little bit fat." (The caller took pains to note they were not her words.) At least, "Carly" softened the blow by conveying she liked the fact he has a law degree and is laid-back, sweet and considerate.
Moosejaw said it would make the calls for the first 100 people requesting help, but the promotion was successful enough that it did 200.
Wolak told MediaPost that the Michigan-based Moosejaw carries the motto: "We sell the best outdoor gear in the world and have the most fun doing it." Its email-based stunts were brand-building initiatives and not directly aimed at sales generation, though maybe a special offer was slid in.
More recently, Moosejaw offered a "Moosejaw Frenching Service," where it looked to help a person kiss a crush at midnight on New Year's eve.
Another stunt used a "Fridge Cam," which offered a no-holds-barred live stream of the inside of the office fridge. Wolak quipped there were some "mildly antique" carrots in there. She said the response was strong, with 11,000 people interested in a peak in three days.
It was promoted on Twitter and Facebook and if a person sent in “I’m not fond of lobster bisque,” a staffer would open the fridge door, though it was usually open anyway.
Wolak said the viewing "was oddly addictive" and she found herself checking in while sitting at her desk -- and not to ensure her lunch was safe.