Friday, January 28, 2011


Here's the cutest thing you will see today. But it's also a great case study.

Adland reports that PBS HQ received this letter from a 5-year-old viewer:

Note the dollar, to cover production costs.
Adorable, isn't it? And it's also a golden opportunity.

I once wrote to Kenner toys, with diagrams for new Star Wars toys inspired by my recent viewing of The Empire Strikes Back. I actually got back a typed letter, on letterhead and everything, thanking me and assuring me my designs would be forwarded to the people who made the toys.

I never forgot that. I still have the letter somewhere, and that bit of goodwill pleased my parents and impressed my friends. But that was it.

Times have changed. Now, when an organization gets a heartfelt fan letter, they can respond in public, like on their web site:

"Dear Noah: Thank you for your dollar. We are glad you love PBS KIDS so much! The good news is we have two super hero to the rescue shows that we think you will enjoy, Super Why! and WordGirl. Love, PBS KIDS"

Not only have they made Noah's freaking YEAR, but they got great earned social media by both letting people know about it, and by making this wish fulfillment a collaborative process, online.

(The fact the PBS guy calls himself "AdmiralBallsack" is also awesome!)
So what was once a random act of kind outreach becomes an epic feat of brand loyalty building. (Plus a good plug for the shows!)

Now that's a superpower any marketer would love to have.

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