Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last(ing) Impressions

I arrived safely in Portland yesterday and am adjusting to life in the Northwest – green, cold, and not a celebrity in sight!

I had a wonderful experience at Sundance and wanted to add a collection of thoughts and impressions as I reflect back on this last week.

• Salt Lake City and its surrounds has some of the friendliest people I've met anywhere, yet they definitely rival LA and NY when it comes to their attitude on the road!

• The snow and mountains are absolutely beautiful, especially when the sun is out – definitely worth braving the single-digit temperatures.

• The more famous people become, the more down to earth and approachable they are – at least, in our experience.

• Being a blogger is quite a lot of work – even when you get to write under the watchful eyes of Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe!

• No matter how creative and comprehensive a marketing campaign, it won't be successful if the product doesn't measure up.

Case in point: ChaCha had people everywhere promoting their free info service - text your question to 242242 and you'll receive your answer right on your mobile phone/blackberry. I even woke up one morning to their marketing message scribbled on the snowy windshield of a car in the parking lot!

Well, here's what we experienced when using their service:
My question: "Where is the nearest mailbox to the library theatre?"
After half an hour, their answer: "There is a post office located at: 1809 Riverchase Dr Birmingham, AL 35244-1027"

Hmm... None of the Park City ChaCha promoters had mentioned that this wasn't a localized service. Not to worry, two minutes later this message arrived (without a prompt from me): "There's a US Post Office at 450 Main St. in Park City, UT 84060 (It's 0.7 miles SE of Library Theatre)"

Great, very helpful and right on target in terms of location! However, I already knew that and was really just looking for the nearest mailbox to mail my postcards. My reply: "But what about just a mailbox?"

A little while later I received this answer: "In order to find the nearest mailbox, it is necessary to give your location. Normally though, most residential homes have them." Gee, really, houses have mailboxes?

So, while great in concept and certainly effective in their marketing, ChaCha has a few kinks left to work out. But it certainly made for an entertaining exchange of text messages – plus, I totally fit in with the crowds, who all had a phone or blackberry glued to their hands or ears.

No comments: