Highly Personalized Advertising

I really dislike it when people tell me that they hate advertising. No, what they hate is poorly targeted and irrelevant advertising. Today I got a highly targeted & personalized message. It’s also social media done oh-so-right.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I was in Austin. We were staying on the East Side and got the chance to check out plenty of joints new and old. On our first night we walked by one with a sign outside advertising “fine cocktails.” Now, being a cocktail lover,  I mentioned to my husband that we needed to go by there before the weekend ended.”Sure,” he said.

We continued our weekend, making fun of the bars on 6th Street for hawking $1 shots and well drinks. “What kind of cheap-o drinker do they think I am?” This is the thought that crept into my mind. Our friend Kevin suggested that if they began offering high end beverages to me I might be more inclined. Yes, yes, I thought, that is true.

At any rate, we finally made it back to this bar advertising “fine cocktails.” Now, if I see a place with “fine cocktails” I might expect that their bartenders have a menu of particulars. Or a list at least of their favorites. Or can communicate those to customers in a way that shows they understand the concept of “fine cocktails.” We finally got the attention of the bartender and I asked if he had a menu. He took one look at me (short, blonde, female) and said “I’ll make you what all the girls like.”

Here’s the rest of our conversation:

Me: “What is that?”

Bartender: “It’s a cherry smash.”

Me: “What’s in that?” <– Knowing full well it’s something syrupy sweet.

Bartender: “It’s a flavored vod…”

Me: “I don’t do flavored vodka. Do you have Pimm’s?”

Bartender: “Yes.”

Me: “Fine, a Pimm’s cup it is.”

Now, it should be noted despite that the bartender poorly assumed I would like something that is full of sugar and plainly hides the taste of alcohol, he made a delicious and well-crafted Pimm’s cup, muddling cucumber and Hendrick’s before adding Pimm’s and a splash of ginger ale. See, not so hard.

However, I couldn’t leave it at that. I don’t like that bartenders assume that because we are women that we want cruddy drinks. So I created a Foursquare tip:

“Despite claims to great cocktails there is no drinks menu. If you possess a vagina you will be told you should have some god-awful cherry vodka drink. Order your standbys & it’ll be fine.”

Today I got a tweet from a completely different Austin bar, the Firehouse Hostel:

@u_m: We’d love to serve you a handcrafted cocktail from our extensive drink menu. No god-awful cherry vodka drinks here! #ATX

WHOA! This means that the fine folks at Firehouse had to:

  1. Read my Foursquare tip
  2. Find my Twitter profile (ok, fairly easy as the two services are connected)
  3. Write a personalized invite to me that was relevant, topical and awesome

Read that again.

  1. They are watching what competitive bars in Austin are doing and seeing what people have to say about them.
  2. They are looking for people who might enjoy their services.
  3. They are crafting attractive marketing messages by hand.

Hats off, Firehouse. Looking forward to seeing you in the ATX!

7 thoughts on “Highly Personalized Advertising

  1. I love this! And you, for sticking up for yourself and all classy lady cocktail drinkers, while being composed and dignified.

    Too many bars (dives, joints,) abuse the term “fine” cocktails on their signage by using it as a lure, a catch all, without offering the specific service it implies.

    1. So true Nomi! I wasn’t certain how classy it would be to include the v-word, but I was glad to stick up for the ladies who drink!

    1. Yes! Or check it out in the meantime and let me know what you think. Just the fact that they did this, makes me want to go there.

  2. “I really dislike it when people tell me that they hate advertising. No, what they hate is poorly targeted and irrelevant advertising.” THIS. x1000. For realz.

    1. I can’t tell you how many times people say this to me, then turn around and start talking about an app, a piece of clothing they want, a movie, or a band. How did they hear about those? Likely some form of marketing or advertising. Heart the comment, AJT!

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