Brewers Go to Other (Necessary) Extreme, Find Success With Promotion

The Milwaukee Brewers just finished their “Where’s Chorizo?” promotion this morning.

I was going to comment on the promotion with a simple tweet or two, but couldn’t fit my thoughts succinctly enough into its format of 140 characters.

I’m not one for using multiple tweets to get a point across so I thought I would put those thoughts down into a blog post. This is that post.

Following the “Where’s Bernie?” promotion from last summer where lawn-gnome-like Bernie Brewer figurines were placed at various locations around southeastern Wisconsin, the Brewers dealt with a lot of negative fallout from what should have been a tremendous success surrounding a unique idea.

That negative fallout was when, to put in bluntly, assholes decided to horde many more Bernie Brewer figurines than they needed, or were entitled to. One infamous woman tweeted pictures of her entire trunk filled with Bernies. She was vilified and eventually turned many of the statues over to charity.

She, and others like her, deciphered clues for many days in order to figure out where the Bernie statues would be located and then arrived much earlier than they were supposed to, stalking the workers tasked with setting out the prizes.

Kids that were super excited for the chance to go on a treasure hunt for a unique prize were crushed when, simply because their parents followed the instructions, there were no more figures to be had.

Sports talk radio stations blasted the promotion as an abject failure, stating how greed should have been accounted for. I was vocal in my thought that the promotion had perfect intentions but also some miscalculations in execution.

The popularity of the promotion was obvious to all involved though, regardless of the hoarders, so the organization wanted to do something again this year.

To their credit they seemed to have succeeded.

There will never be a way to prevent greed altogether (evidenced by the figurines which are already posted on the internet auction site: eBay) but that the Chorizo statues were placed around Miller Park was a necessary stroke of genius.

The workers were able to control access, monitor the strictly-enforced “one figure per searcher” rule, and help erase many of the bad feelings surrounding last year’s event.

The only true negative this time was there you had to be close to Miller Park to have a legitimate chance. There were no figurines as far away as New Berlin let alone Green Bay or Madison. It was a very necessary change for the promotion to have success this time around, however.

The other major change this year over last was that the date of the giveaway was kept quiet. Chorizo disappeared from Miller Park just this past Saturday, with the culmination happening just about 13 hours ago.

Do I think that there are a few changes that could be made should they do something like this again? Absolutely. I don’t think it would ultimately be necessary to limit all of the statues to just Miller Park. I also think that they can promote it a little better than basically forcing fans to assume that there were more figures to be had this year. (Or even hoping that there weren’t.)

All in all, the Brewers should consider the “Where’s Chorizo?” promotion to have been a success, just one with the opportunity to be improved upon should they decide to pursue a similar idea again in the future.

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