Clever Promotion Undermined By Poor Proofreading and Web Design

Urban Fare is a chi-chi grocery store in my neighbourhood. You can spot all manner of locals--sharply-dressed metrosexuals, Lululemon-clad mothers and twenty-something sylphs cuddling chihuahuas (Colene recently came to terms with shopping there). They're currently giving away reusable, black canvas bags. They've got the store's logo on one side, and this on the other:

It indicates that Western Wind Energy is offering a free 'Vancouver jazz podcast' on their website. This makes sense as a promotion because:

  • Urban Fare's shoppers are the types who will know what a podcast is, care about alternative energy and might have an interest in jazz.
  • Western Wind Energy is a Vancouver Jazz Festival sponsor, and Urban Fare was a sponsor last year. Though it's not explicit, the promotion builds on all the marketing the jazz festival has done. Urban Fare appears to have cleverly built on last year's sponsorship without actually sponsoring jazz fest this year.
  • They offer something free, which always works.

Unfortunately, it's foiled by two things:

  • There's a spelling error on the bag. The URL reads www.westenwindenergy.com. That's probably not a deal breaker, but they should buy that URL and redirect it to www.westernwindenergy.com to capture the minority of people who get tripped up by that.
  • If you go to their home page, there's no mention of the podcast. If you view the HTML source for the home page, it references a blog with a single entry from May 1, and a related feed. Here's a screenshot that shows the page as it is right now.

I emailed the folks at Western Wind Energy, and they apparently weren't aware of the spelling error. They assure me the podcast will be ready to go tomorrow afternoon.

That's a pity, as it's an otherwise original and smart promotion. The lesson here is one you learn early on when doing marketing for technology companies: pad your schedule for deliverables (and never believe a release date).

UPDATE: The jazz podcast is now up and running.