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« Dial 300 for Harry | Main | Don't take this advice »

The paradox of pictures

Sethontherunhires I got busted at the Stop and Shop this morning.

It turns out that there are now even more than 19 flavors of Oreos. So I needed a photo of the new flavor for my presentation. The manager saw the flash and ran over. He made it clear that I needed permission from corporate headquarters to take pictures, and followed me around the store to make sure I didn't take any more illicit photos.

Compare this to the easiest way in the world to attract a crowd at a trade show--hire some folks to film your booth, preferably with bright lights, Bauer battery packs and a big-ass camera. Sure enough, people will show up, like moths to a candle.

The irony of the Stop & Shop approach is that the people who you don't want taking pictures--snoopy journalists or competitors--can easily conceal their cameras and you'll never know. But the raving fans, the bloggers, the folks twisted enough to want to take and flickrize their supermarket experiences are your friends.

Of course, Ahold (owner of S&S) has every right to discourage shoppers from photography. So does Disney. But Disney learned a long time ago that flipping the funnel and letting tourists become your salesforce is a great idea. In an experience economy, where a bear workshop or furniture superstore is a form of tourism, photography is part of the deal. (Thanks to Rob Clark for the illustration).

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The paradox of pictures:

» The No Picture Policy and Customer Service from The Elusive Fish -- Creative Services
Seth Godin was fingered for taking a photo in a store without the permission of corporate HQ. Same thing happened to me a few years back ... [Read More]

» No Photographs in Supermarkets from AListReview
Seth Godin talks about being told he couldn't take pictures inside of a grocery store without corporate approval. This is strange on a couple of levels.First, as Seth said, flickerizing your shopping experience for your friends is great publicity... [Read More]

» The Spy who Came in from the Mall from mrpatto.com
Seth Godin’s post on the paradox of pictures reminds me of the time I got busted for corporate espionage. [Read More]

» Flipping the Funnel from GoodRecruits
What would it take to have your employees be your salesforce? What would that look like? [Read More]

» Another Business That Doesn't Want to Do Business from Blake Schwendiman's Blog and Blook
Since we're buying a house, we're in the market for a refrigerator (new house doesn't have one) and a washer and dryer (staying with the old house). We know when we're closing on our house and we know that we're... [Read More]

» Oreos and being stalked from Let Me See You Get Low
I'm not sure what bothers me more. The fact that there are that many Oreo flavors or the guy up in arms over a picture being taken of said Oreos. I would actually like to have seen the guy stalk [Read More]

« Dial 300 for Harry | Main | Don't take this advice »