on friday morning i was walking to the train and found a good sized purple plastic egg in a bush on the corner of 20th and burnside. i looked at it, scooped it up in the crook of my arm and kept walking to the train. a young man and his dog ran across the street and accosted me when he saw that i had an egg and interrogated me about it and then acted like i should give him HIS egg. i didn't.
i got to the train and had 10 minutes before the next one was coming, so i dug in.
inside the egg was a big, green, boys marmot hoodie. i read the card and thought to myself, "this is a fancy and fun way to (presumably) get rid of their promo items that they get from their suppliers!" turns out that hoodie wasn't a promo item, but an actual product valued at $55. the card in the egg said that if i didn't like what i got in the egg, i could return it for free and get a site credit/exchange for a different item. i bundled the egg back together and into my bag and continued on to work.
here's where the brilliance (on zappos' part) happens: when i got to work, i told at least 7 people throughout the day that i found this egg and what the deal was with it. because, how often do you find an egg with free shite in it? i know of at least 2 of those 7 went onto zappos that day to look into the whole thing. i still didn't even know what was really going on with anything, what the deal with this whole promotion was, only that it was REALLY doing its job.
around lunch time, i called the number on the card to see how the returning and exchanging worked. a nice young man named michael from the zappos couture department (that shocked me too) answered and we learned together about what was going on as he hadn't fielded a call about this yet. he signed me up for zappos' vip service which allows them access to track more closely what i look at, favorite and buy in exchange for free next business day shipping, exclusive features, at least 24 hour notice of new releases on their site and expedited returns. seems fair to me. and then michael emailed me a label for UPS or USPS (my choice) so i could send the hoodie back and made a note on my account that i have a $55 credit. it was all very friendly and awesome.
this is also pretty brilliant because it allows people who may not have used zappos before to experience their customer service (their top selling point to anyone and everyone) without having to buy anything first. how many times have you just kept or threw away something because you knew it would be way too much of a pain in the ass to send it back? zappos nips that in the bud for you with this experience.
if you look at the 1st picture, you'll see there's a little green sticker on it that says 51 implying that it's egg #51. further implying that there were at least 50 other eggs around. friday evening, when i got home and before i disco-napped, i researched a bit and found out that there are 100 eggs total playing in this game and that zappos was tweeting clues of the eggs whereabouts through saturday evening. on saturday, the office wife and i looked for a few of the other ones, but gave up tout suite as many seemed to be on the hunt and we wanted to enjoy the day.
to wrap this up: zappos is evil marketing genius. the hardest part about the whole thing so far is figuring out what i want from their site with my $55 credit.