Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mr Kipling strikes... but very disappointingly

The actual excitement when I heard that one of Mr Kipling's "free cake" machines was heading to Nottingham, I cannot describe. I hunt down the location and am presented with this:
It was just as the promotional video said it would look like. However, I was a bit miffed to say the least. I had turned up at 8am- thought I had better get there early just in case there was a crazy rush for early morning cake (!) only to discover that there was no queue (thank goodness I suppose) but that there was no free cake! At 8am in the morning! Surely not all the cake had been consumed? According to the dispenser one cake would be dispensed every minute between the hours of 7am and 10pm. Well this dispenser had clearly failed... unamused. Tesco's cherry bakewell anyone?

Ok, so I wasn't really that concerned about free cake, although I wouldn't have said no, I was more interested in the whole concept. There were to be several of these cake dispensers around the country to mark the launch of Mr Kipling's individually wrapped cakes (a long time coming! But means that I now have no excuse to eat two at a time!) The idea of these cake dispensers was actually pretty clever. The consumer had to actively engage with the dispenser to get a free cake (promotion bonus points). There was a buzz created at round the concept and people began to strategically plan new routes home in order to come across one of the dispensers. However, there was MANY massive flaws in this promotional strategy. What was to stop the same person, keep on receiving free cakes? What if they had run out? Like the one in Nottingham. Who was keeping an eye on the activity of the dispensers and those using them? Basically, to put it bluntly the dispensers were open to MAJOR ABUSE. 

All in all, a very innovative idea, but maybe stick to handing out free samples in the street? A much more controlled promotional environment and less likely to be taken advantage of by... cake lovers...

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