If you're a long time reader of this blog then you know that I have talked a lot about gifts and how they are becoming a cornerstone of contemporary marketing. In fact when I did my presentation at TedxBroadway it was a main point of the speech which you can watch below
I was recently exposed to a beautiful example of gift marketing so I wanted to share it. On Howard Sherman's blog he does this post on the entertainment that has become part of the ticket lottery line for the play Hamilton.
I want to point it out because that moment has all the necessary elements for a gift:
1. It's thoughtful
2. They don't need to do it
I want to focus on that second part. Most of our lives we are given a sort of required courtesy. The person giving you coffee may say "Thanks" or the dry cleaner may tell you "Have a nice day" but that's as much of a formality as anything else.
Here you have a situation where the creators of Hamilton have already achieved their marketing objective. They have a piece of art so "hot" that people are willing to wait in line just for a CHANCE to pay and see it. At that post most people would be content to just start counting the cash.
Instead they choose an unique way to say "thank you" in a way that makes it clear that they really mean it. They invested emotional labor. They gave to people who, by the nature of the process, probably will not be customers.
I want to emphasize that emotional labor part. Creating the short entertainment moment certainly took some time and maybe a little money but mostly what it took was a requirement that somebody cared.
That's marketing. Someone caring enough to make something special happen.
The rest is advertising.