Fridays: You’re Doing It Wrong

This is my first post in what I hope will be a series of blogs categorized as “You’re Doing It Wrong”. Im going to attempt to find epic fails in the technology and mobile space. And trust me, there are PLENTY of them!

Lets start with Fridays “Mobile” play. I have mobile in quotes because its a pathetic attempt at a mobile campaign. Its a perfect example of how to ensure minimal results. See the image below:

Lets figure out why they’re doing it wrong. First off, whats with the numbers? Do i text JOIN or 5646? And, where to i text it? to MYTGIF, or to 698443? Or to MYTGIF (698443)? Does my phone allow me to put parenthesis into a text message? Do i text JOIN with the number in parenthesis? Now comes the part where the customer doesn’t text in, and the business loses an invaluable opportunity to acquire a customer.

The irony here, is that you’re supposed to text JOIN to 698443. Simple, right? But the messaging is so confusing, id bet there are 3 failed attempts for every 1 success…that is, assuming that anyone has ever texted in. My guess is that most customers look at it, dont immediately understand it, and push it to the end of the table.

Now, lets think motivation. Hmmm, just finished a steak – why am i texting? OH right, to join the Friday’s “Stripes” program. What the hell is that, and why would i text in to join? Is there a benefit to texting in? What am I getting? Is the text in free? No one knows. Copywriters and strategists get a D- on that one. Id give them an F but i kind of like the font.

This is a classic example of a decent creative or marketing firm assuring their client ‘ah yes we can do mobile’ and sloppily coming up with some half-assed concept and implementing it through one of their similarly half-assed partners. Its a completely wasted opportunity, a great example of what not to do in mobile, and should be a lesson to all of you out there. Fridays has a great opportunity here – their customer is sitting there for 45 minutes or more with nothing to do for the majority of the time. Fridays probably monetizes their rewards program, in addition to the loyalty they create. Make the program clear, offer a benefit, and maybe – just maybe – your customer will text in. Make the program confusing, offer little to no value, and lets face it…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

But hey, lets look at the bright side from the firm’s perspective. They’ve succeeded in convincing their client that ‘mobile isnt right for their brand’ or some similarly pathetic excuse for their own incompetence. So at the year end review, they can tout that the website is working but mobile isn’t, and thus direct more of next year’s budget at web and less at mobile, in order to keep their client’s business. The fact is, however, that 2010 is the ‘year of mobile’ – and more and more brands are creating and expanding their mobile budgets, and will continue to do so for the next few years. Why? Simple. When done correctly, mobile can be a game-changer for any brand out there. When done incorrectly, its simply a small bar on a graph, a flat line on a chart, and an indication that a company is slowly falling behind on the technology side.

Wondering the right way to do it? Shoot me an email:

PS – are you from Fridays or the Marketing company behind this trash, and pissed off? Good, that means you read it, and you’re on your way to not totally sucking at mobile. Admit that you suck, and we can help you. Or, just go on sucking and the evolution of business will swiftly and efficiently make you extinct, which it does so well.

Leave a Reply