Selling the Sizzle and The Steak in a Viral Way

Next Wave with Gary Vaynerchuk: The Morton’s Phenomenon – YouTube

By now you may have heard about Morton’s huge viral success by delivering a steak, to an airport to Peter Shankman just two hours after he requested it before getting on his flight. My first reaction: I’m hungry. Second reaction: congrats to Morton’s for monitoring your twitter enough that you capitalized on a great opportunity.

Gary Vaynerchuk does a great job of summarizing what happened and talking about how this direct marketing is probably going to become a ubiquitous trend for many companies. I’d like to take just a minute to talk about the other side of this, the logistics behind pulling this off.

First off, Shankman was getting on a flight and gave a vague – hey, can Morton’s get me a porterhouse in 2 hours to Newark Airport. He didn’t say where he was coming from (so they could find out exactly when the flight gets in), he didn’t say if this was just a random hope or he actually wanted it (so they knew if he was being for real or not), he didn’t even say how well done he wanted it cooked. Morton’s went ahead anyway.

We also have to remember that in order to get the message, someone from Morton’s had to be scanning twitter (or get auto notifications) at the exact right moment during the day. Then that person had to pull off contacting the local to Newark Morton’s, cooking a Porterhouse, packing it up and getting an employee to drive it to the airport, park, explain to security why there’s a hot steak in their bag AND try to find Peter Shankman in the millions of other people passing through the airport at that random 2 hour later point in time.

That’s just a taste (pun intended) of what they had to go through to pull this off and I’m sure to many of the people that heard about this they thought oh, that’s great – they got a steak to him. In the end, I’m sure Morton’s would say it was easy because they took action and got something done and didn’t sit through a committee wasting time wondering what their next marketing activity should be and spend a couple hundred thousand dollars to run a program with no measurable return. Not to mention the fact that they looked pretty cool for a while to us internet folk.

So, moral of the story: take action, forget the logistics and deliver, and always look for ways, as Gary says, to shock and awe.

Now, let’s see who starts the first formal Twitter / Airport food delivery service. Sign me up. I’ll bet it’s a presentation at the next session of Y-Combinator.


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