The Promobot Revolt and The Rise of Clever Marketing

Matt Lassiter

Matt Lassiter

June 17, 2016

A Day like Many Days

June 15th, for many a day of work, a day of living and breathing the realities of being a marginalized cog in the wheels of industry. No one expected June 15th to be the day the machine took a stand, the day the revolt…the uprising of Promobot would begin.  It all began in a small town in Eastern Russia as these things typically do. While FUBAR may not be the right term, it isn’t a stretch to say that in the world of gate security someone dropped the ball. 

Promobot is a robot designed to be a marketing statement of sorts. This robot takes on the form of a character – the “Promobot” character if you will. From there as it works in stores, its main designation is to attract a customer stream by not just standing out but also by running through a number of automated tasks that will ultimately improve the experience of a customer. It’s both a full time employee and marketer! 

A Clever Concept with Big Results

robot

While there is no definitive proof this was a fabrication, the manufacturers of Promobot used their star to create a viral hit. The premise? Simple enough, Promobot escapes their lab by running through the office and out the door where he was met with a security gate that had accidentally been left open. It was shortly thereafter that the robots battery had died leaving him stranded in the road. This caused a small traffic incident that prompted the police to arrive and remove him from the road. Coincidentally a DSLR camera happened to be perched and did a fantastic job of catching the final moments of the revolution in stunning HD quality. 

It’s a fantastic ruse (most likely) setup by the company itself to create the viral sensation. Within two days of the video hitting the internet it had gained an audience of over 420,000 and counting. There is a terrific lesson to be learned here. It’s easy to be caught up in our business and work taking it very seriously. It’s easy to forget that human beings loved to be entertained and perhaps the best way to entertain human beings is by giving them something super funny to talk about. 

A Lesson Learned For Us All

Marketing as it is does not have to be cut and dry, it does not always have to represent your brand and business to the highest degree of seriousness. It simply needs to get people to take a second look, showing a bit of personality is a great way to do that. I think for a lot of people when coming up with a plan to market their business we run down the normal checklists of social media, sharp web content, nice print designs if needed and everything is branded. While this works great to establish an identity, often times it does little to capture attention.

Simply put, when working on your next plan to get your business name out, maybe think outside the box. Consider an approach to humor your audience, to give them a treat, a breakaway from their normal day to witness something delightful and then leverage that to create a subtle but impactful way to bring it back to your business.