advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Woody, Woody, Woody.

Does T.G.I. Friday’s Woody promotion violate new FTC guidelines? T.G.I. Friday’s coupons shouldn’t be rocket science—and they shouldn’t expire after five three days either.

I thought Friday’s had run a pretty good promo: Major TV spots to get fans to follow the Woody “character” on Facebook. It worked too, having reached their initial goal of half-million fans ahead of schedule, they decided to go for twice that number. Although they fell short of that goal, they did send out the coupons for a free burger (problems notwithstanding). So while it seems like I’m complaining about free food—NEVER, HA—I am questioning the expiration date.

I get the coupon on Oct. 9—but it can only be used for three days 10/11 - 10/14. A true, “Aw, dude, wtf?” moment, no?

What coupon has ever had that short a window to redeem it? Had I known, I woulda passed on entering. Nice move by T.G.I. Friday’s. They dangle free food to get followers, even extend the contest to get more. But in doing so, they put out a tight redemption window without telling anyone ahead of time. I’m guessing they’ll see a lot of people not using them for that reason alone, thereby saving money on meals served.

Not cool. It seems like it falls under the recent FTC guidelines for transparency and telling consumers what’s up ahead of time, even on Twitter and Facebook. This isn’t the same as the Denny’s free meal promotion run during the Super Bowl either, because you knew when it was running ahead of time (that Tuesday). Plus, you didn’t have to do anything but show up.

I know a dude who could’ve helped Friday’s out here because it sure looks like they need it.

1 comment:

adpuppet said...

I actually made my trip to Friday's last night. My coupon was honored without incident and I enjoyed my burger.

Friday's did good by getting rid of the silly coupon printer software after people complained, but I agree that the timing was certainly the most scammy and WTF part of the whole experience.

As you said, the coupon redemption window was tight and we could've used this information beforehand. I was also irritated by the fact that I couldn't use the coupon on the day that I received it. It's hard to see this as anything other than downright manipulative behavior to minimize the number of free burgers honored.

From a business perspective, they probably got scared at the thought of actually giving away close to a million burgers. Sadly, they botched what could've been an opportunity to delight so many of their customers. It certainly feels like since they got theirs already (all the fan registrations), so they're just going to do the minimum to get by.