Home Want To Get People’s Attention? Bribe Them With iPads

Want To Get People’s Attention? Bribe Them With iPads

Everyone wants to replicate Apple‘s smash hit, instant cool, stand-in-line-overnight success when it comes time to roll out a product or stage an event. Plenty of companies attempt this by imitating Apple, copying its sleek design or attempting to maximize hype using secrecy. Not surprisingly, that turns out to be hard to do – so the marketing folks figured out a shortcut.

The secret? Don’t sell your product. Sell iPads!

From “Play Finger Balance – Win a Free iPhone” to “Win An iPad In The MyTown Scavenger Hunt,” Apple has apparently cornered the market on prizes used to entice people to buy or try a new product.

Kudos to Sirikitiya Jensen from Beneath the Earth Film Festival for admitting that an upcoming promotion is all about riding Apple’s coattails:

So it’s quite apparent that the world has gone iPad crazy. And even though it seems like they’re everywhere, not everyone has one. But it’s definitely safe to say that almost everyone wants one, and wants one desperately. So I’m curious to see to what length people will go to get an iPad (save those that would steal one).

Beneath the Earth Film is an online film festival that launched this spring. They’re giving away two iPads, along with many other prizes, in a weekend-long scavenger hunt starting at 8:00 a.m. Labor Day. Participants have to follow clues to locations of iconic film scenes in New York, take pictures of themselves re-enacting the scene, and race to submit the photos to Beneath the Earth.

A logo for Beneath the Earth’s scavenger hunt featuring the irresistible prize.

Ordinarily, that would be a lot to ask people to do for a no-name film festival. But, with the power of Apple:

We’re wondering if this is too high a barrier-to-entry for an iPad, but I’m starting to think that you can never underestimate the power of an Apple product. We’ll soon see what the promise of this summer’s hottest toy can incite in people.

Jensen even referred to the “potential iPad driven success” of the promotion.

IPods, iPhones and now iPads make great prizes. They’re instantly recognizable, compact and expensive enough to convince most consumers to stop by your booth, register a domain or even spend all day tromping around a major metropolitan city. Everyone wants one, or wants a second one, and they’re easy to resell on craigslist.

The devices appeal to every demographic, which is why they’re being used to sell a huge range of products and ideas: iPad cases, subscriptions, ladder safety.

Most companies aren’t like Apple, and most products aren’t like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Not everyone can make a product that people will want desperately. But why should they? The Beneath the Film Festival looks pretty cool. It could capture the attention of New Yorkers without dangling an iPad in front of them. So why not sell the festival on its own merits?

What do you think? Is it cheating to use iPads to attract customers or users? Is it even effective – or will the winners of this scavenger hunt walk away with the iPads and never give the film festival a second thought?

Or is an iPad gimmick a smart way to introduce people to something they might otherwise have ignored?

Hey, it got me to write about a random film festival. Hm…

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