Just for fun… A Surprise Text Mob

In social media, Uncategorized on March 22, 2014 at 10:23 am

My beautiful bride Lara warned me against having another surprise birthday party for her.  I wanted to do “something” and decided to have a “Surprise Text Mob” for her.  Here’s the email that went out to friends, family, and co-workers…

* Don’t tell Lara! *
And for those of you over age 45 with bad eye sight…
(Don’t you hate it when people type in caps?!)

So Lara already warned me, for her birthday, I should not throw her a surprise “get together”. Knowing that I am the “King of this Castle”, I decided, we will not have a surprise “get together”… but we can still have a little fun and surprise the birthday girl.

At first I thought we could surprise her with a Flash Mob birthday dance… We’ll get Nicole to choreograph a dance, we’ll burst into the house, blast some music, and surprise her with a dance… but that won’t work… when and where would we practice… and frankly,… I have seen you all dance at affairs… and except for Nicole, Emily, my nieces, and Wally,.. you all stink.

So what can we do to show Lara we love her and care it’s her birthday? [Pause 10 seconds and queue the Jeopardy music here.]

Got it! We can have a Text Mob! We can bombard her with Happy Birthday Texts all at the same time.

Lara’s birthday is March XXth.

Please text birthday wishes to her on
March XXth 2014 at 10:00 AM ET
(Please be prompt. She has xxxxx that morning.)

Hopefully, if you are doing your jobs correctly, she will receive rapid-fire text messages and be overcome with joy… well.. umm …more realistically.. hopefully she will be happy and feel a little bit of love. 😉

I will send a reminder to you on that day.

Thank you!


PS. If you do not have her cell number, and you would like to participate, please email me.

On her birthday, I sent an email and text message to the participants.  Lara started receiving text messages. For about 45 minutes, she couldn’t use her phone because there were so many messages coming in.   

Judging by the comments I had received, it seemed like the participants had fun.  Lara was “excited” (that’s not the word) to received so many texts and, in a couple of instances, reconnect with old friends.

Statistically, she received approximately 1.7 texts for each email sent to the participants. (It was not a huge audience to start with, but it was interesting to see who passed it around.)

Fun. Yes.      A work of genius. No.    Applicable to business… you never know.  

Jab Jab Jab Low Blow

In commentary, doing business, social media on March 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Today I planned on purchasing “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk. I had hoped to pick it up and purchase it today.  As there are so few brink-n-mortar bookstores around, I looked up the book on and see the price on the web site…


OK.  I head to the Barnes and Noble in East Northport, NY.  I am very excited to get the book and start reading it.  I anticipate paying $18.35 but realize there may be a slightly higher price because it’s at the store. Perhaps a service fee?

I get to the store and go to the kiosk to find the location of the book.  The kiosk shows it’s located in Business:Marketing and it costs $29! It must be a mistake.  They must be displaying the list price. No one charges list price! Not bookstores. Not clothing stores. Not car dealers. No one! Except…

Well I cannot find the book and need to have a salesperson find the book on the “end-cap”.  I ask him the price and he states it’s $29.

$29? $29?! Are you kidding me?

The salesperson says they need to charge higher prices for books at the stores to cover overhead. The Online price is only there to compete with

I explain (IMHO) to the salesperson that charging $11 more for the same book at the store is “appalling”.  I explained I am aware he is not the decision-maker and please excuse my venting.  I tell him that the public is reasonable and, if they charged a $1 or $2 for the convenience of purchasing the book in the store, it would make sense.  It is ridiculous to price this book at $29 after I had seen it on your web site for $18.35.

Determined and angry, I head home and online to  I search for “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”


I was curious to know if the web site explicitly stated the book will cost $29 if you purchase it at the store. No. I could not find it. Perhaps they are being “cute” and I am supposed to assume, or come to the conclusion on my own, that it costs $29 at the store.

I think “What if I click the Pick-Me-Up button?”  Maybe that will shed some light on the situation.

Great. They have the book in stock at the store in East Northport, NY.


Great (again). It’s still listed as $18.35.  OK. I understand.  I am buying it online and picking it up at the store.  So it’s going to cost $18.35.

I click the “Pick Me Up” button next to the East Northport Store.


Aaaaah. Now they display the book will cost $30. (At that point I also see I am not purchasing it online. I am asking them to pull it from the shelf and have it ready for me to purchase when I reach the store.)

So it took five clicks into for them to share with me the book will cost $30 – (1) Search for the book (2) Click the book for detail (3) Click “Pick up in Store” where the zip code window appears, (4) The page with “Pick Me Up” in large print (5) The pop up window above which finally shows me it costs $30 without any type of explanation.

All the way at the bottom I see “Store and online prices may vary.” IMHO it’s in a place that is deceptively out of the way and vague.  Regardless of legalities, vagueness, and deceptiveness, this is not how you do business in a world in which social media is so prevalent.

Oh come on!

With all the “brilliant business minds” at the top of Barnes and Noble, they can’t think of a fair way to deal with the public?  Perhaps a simple and reasonable $2 “store fee” for books that are purchased at the brick-n-mortar?  Perhaps that $2 “store fee” could be given back as a credit to the customer’s next online purchase?

Perhaps, at least,  explain to your online audience why you need to charge a reasonable fee for books purchased at a store… versus, once I found the book,  having 3 screens display $18.35 and then displaying $30 on the 4th page?

Befriend us. Respect us.

Your salesperson seemed concerned about  And you should be concerned because does it “right”.  I have had numerous potentially-negative experiences with  Anytime I had an issue, customer service resolved the issue and exceeded my expectations.  I will continue to be a dedicated Amazon customer.  After today’s experience with Barnes and Noble, looks even better to me.

I ordered Gary’s book on

I look forward to reading “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.”  I also look forward to seeing Barnes and Noble in Gary’s next book “Jab Jab Jab Low Blow.”

Right or wrong. Perception is reality!

Everyone loves spaghetti

In commentary, commercials, stupid videos, Uncategorized, Videos, viral videos on January 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Every once in a while I will stumble upon a video that would be the a great foundation for a commercial video (or an entire campaign.)

Viral commercial spaghetti Joeys Pasta

Everyone loves spaghetti.  Everyone loves pets. Let’s put it together.

Take a watch of this video. Take 3 “watches” of the video.  It’s simple. Entertaining.  The sound of the dog chomping the spaghetti is great.  The spaghetti is the center of the attention.  There’s something special and real about the video. With a little editing, adding a brand image/message at the end, and  the proper viral seeding, this could be an awsome campaign.

Funny video commercial dog eating spaghetti viral

Click to watch funny video