I’m still now sure how the general public feels about T-Mobile’s recent promotional campaign to give out shares in the company, but the carrier’s accompanying free giveaways are clearly a hit, evidenced by the fact that the Domino’s pizza chain, a partner for the first two weeks of T-Mobile’s promotion, has abandoned it’s participation in the campaign due to higher than expected pizza demand. Or to put in another way, we eat too much and Domino’s is losing money.
Proving that people are little more than trained seals, slapping their fins together when you toss them a free snack, T-Mobile acknowledge via Twitter late last week that it had lost Domino’s as part of the latest un-carrier promotion, explaining that the company simply couldn’t keep up with customer demand for the offered free two-topping pizzas.
But more to the point, this just goes to show you how woefully inadequate I am at gauging consumer behaviour, as once again I’ve attempted to give consumers the benefit of the doubt, arguing that they won’t be fooled by such woeful attempts at pandering, only to be once again surprised when they are.
For T-Mobile, though, the departure of Domino’s pizza was simply a bump in the road, all part of the carrier’s strategy to rotate through various promotions and partners to give customers something new and fresh every week. During the first week, the company offered pizza, free Frostys at Wendy’s, free GoGo Wi-Fi and company stock, while week two saw the removal of the stock option and the addition of a $50 credit with ride-sharing service Lyft, and it seems the carrier will continue with Lyft as the replacement for Domino’s going forward, although any other new additions have yet to be announced.
It also seems the carrier will be depending heavily on MLB related content promos this week as well, as they’ve quietly added a $20 coupon to the MLB online store along with contests to win MLB gift cards and a trip to the mid-season All-Star game.
As evidence of just how attractive free stuff is for people, during the first week of promotions earlier this month, the overwhelming volume of consumer traffic crashed the T-Mobile app, causing significant delays and a PR headache that saw company head John Legere take to Twitter to bed for patience.
But again, I simply can’t believe people are flocking to these cheap promotions, for while I thought T-Mobile was really on to something when it started abolishing overages, eliminating contracts, and otherwise revolutionizing the wireless market, this latest round of un-carrier promotions seems like nothing more than unabashed pandering to the lowest common denominator. Whatever works, I guess.