If you have lived in Chicago for any amount of time, you have probably received a parking/red light violation notice… A.K.A. ticket. I would venture to say if you’ve lived here at least a week, since I managed to get a boot AND a parking ticket, on separate occasions, both within my first week of relocation. That big orange and white envelope is cause for horror, making blood pressure instantly go up and sweat beads form as you open it and peer inside to see how much they will charge you for parking 57 seconds longer than your meter allowed for.
Poor “Bobby” has had it even worse than me. The first month he moved here his car was towed at 7:02AM. As he walked outside to retrieve it from the 7AM NO PARKING zone he couldn’t find it. I swear they must have had it hitched at 6:58AM ready to go. While I take the bus/train regularly, he is a driver. All day everyday. In sales, its a requirement and his territory reaches well beyond the “metro area”. The signs here can be difficult to read/follow at times and since the city sold the parking meters in a hasty move to raise money, the situation has been worse. So he’s definitely has his share of parking violations, which add up quickly and can cause tons of problems in the meantime. So one nice summer day, less than a week after he finally resolved a huge ticket fiasco with the city, he calls me laughing in the phone with this distinct laugh that I only hear from him when he realizes he’s been punked…
Photo of an orange and white “Wing Stop notice” (taken from Chicago Now’s Parking Ticket Geek blog).
When Bobby was walking to to his car, he saw this notice on his windshield and nearly flipped out, thinking he had been awarded ANOTHER ticket… knowing good and well that the place he was parked in was perfectly legal and acceptable. Turns out, a local restaurant called Wing Stop, decided to try a new marketing tactic and play off of the parking ticket mayhem by creating flyers that were NEARLY IDENTICAL to the tickets with the wordings adjusted to reflect menu items and discount offers. As the person whom I would have expected to drive over to Wing Stop and start a fight, Bobby laughed hysterically at what was, for him, the ULTIMATE prank… and I joined in the good hearted laughter, sad only because I wasn’t waiting behind the bush with a video camera to see his priceless reaction.
Read more about the views on these flyers here: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/parking-ticket-geek/2009/10/fake-parking-tickets-selling-hot-wings-but-raising-tempers.html Some of the various opinions that were expressed include:
“At first I was shocked. I thought ‘Oh my God’–a parking ticket,” said new Wing Stop patron Cindy Huerta. “I got my free wings and been going there ever since. If it were a basic flier I would have thrown it away. I thought it was really cool.”
“Advertising taking the form of parking tickets can be confusing to motorists,” explains Chicago Department of Revenue spokesperson Ed Walsh. “Sometimes it generates complaints. As such, we ask businesses to refrain.”
So what do you think?? Good marketing?? Bad idea?? Kinda risky?? Unfair?? Totally cool??
Since we’re posting pics of Bobby now, this is what I imagine his initial expression was… before the curse words… LOL
Item of the day: I currently have 2 Blackberry phones, one for work (Curve), one for personal (Pearl). I have considered upgrading my personal phone to the Blackberry Tour, honestly, for no reason other than to have a newer phone. But all of that will go away once I get the BLACKBERRY WATCH!!! Here is a pic I snapped from Crackberry.com
Check out the reviews here at Computer World… I’m sure I’d use it all of 2 weeks then find it 6 months later in a drawer, but by golly, those two weeks wuld be awesome!