How Companies Should Respond to Potential Customers.

2013.01.11 How Companies Should Respond to Potential Customers
I love Ghotsbusters. So much so, I even liked it on Facebook. You may have wondered, like me, exactly who is in charge of the posts from products, movies, etc. that we “like” on Facebook. Certainly, some are run by the product companies and film studios but sometimes it seems like a handful of fans. Recently, whoever is running the Ghostbusters Facebook “like” page directed its fans over to the Minute Maid Facebook page so we could all ask them to bring back Ecto-Cooler.

If you don’t remember Ecto-Cooler, it was a 1980s-90s orange-and-other-citrus flavored Hi-C beverage with Slimer the ghost from Ghostbusters on the drink box. If that still doesn’t ring a bell, Matt Caracappa writes about it much better and with more love than I ever could (X-E is his old website; his new one, Dinosaur Dracula, is excellent). Anyway, it’s long gone and many young adults my age, whether they truly remember drinking Ecto-Cooler or just not, want it to return. I remember it and yeah, it was good! They just don’t make it like they used to.
So I chimed in on the Minute Maid wall with this:

I now have a child. And disposable income. Well, some. But I would spend some of the sum on Ecto-Cooler for my child if it existed. You do know that hundreds of companies are making good money off of the 30-something generation’s nostalgia, yes?

To which Minute Maid replied:

Hi Nathan, currently, Hi-C Ecto-Cooler is being held in the ghost containment grid and cannot be accessed without unleashing hundreds of ghosts on the city. But while it’s been discontinued, we hope you’ll find another flavor in the Hi-C family that you love just as much!

I thought that was pretty clever. In fact, there are a few replies Minute Maid… made… to other people who posted on its wall:

Unfortunately, Hi-C Ecto-Cooler has been discontinued for the foreseeable future. We know you’re missing it and we feel the love. Thanks for posting and keep squeezing the good out of life!
We agree that Hi-C Ecto-Cooler is the best ghost-related juice drink to ever be out on the market. But sadly, the flavor has been discontinued for the time being. We hope that you’ll enjoy another juice drink in the Hi-C family!
It had everything, didn’t it? Ghosts. Deliciousness. Ghosts. So while Hi-C Ecto-Cooler has been discontinued for the foreseeable future, we hope you’ll try some of our less ghost-flavored juice drinks and enjoy them, too!

The first in this trio is basic corporate speak for “Thanks, but no thanks.” But those second two have a little humor to them that just plain works. It shows some investment in potential customers and the reply I received shows at least someone over at Minute Maid knows enough about Ghostbusters to mention the lingo and appeal to fans. Plus, friends see this conversation in their news feed and strangers who see it at Minute Maid. Some of them “like” it and the humorous exchange puts Minute Maid products into their minds a little more. It’s a smart way to respond. And yes, I’m aware others have received the same above messages in a cut-and-paste job but to dismiss the tactic is to miss the point. Corporations are often depicted as cold and inhuman; the Minute Maid brand defied this stereotype if even for a brief moment. I often get whatever is the cheapest orange juice. No guarantees, but I might consider Minute Maid a bit more than I had before.
I did write a reply to the reply Minute Maid gave me, by the way:

When you put it like that, I understand why it’s so important we keep Hi-C Ecto-Cooler off the shelves. I had no idea the fate of the world rested in the hands of Minute Maid. Your humility is second only to the intensity of your many flavors. In the meantime, I will search for another flavor in the Hi-C family to share with my family.

Of course, I didn’t mention it’s possible to get Ecto-Cooler out of the ghost containment grid without releasing other ghosts. In the J. Michael Stranzinski-written (creator of Babylon 5) episode #13 of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon entitled, “Xmas Marks the Spot,” Egon enters the containment unit wearing a molecular destabilizing suit to find the three ghosts of Christmas so the Ghostbusters can save Christmas. So clearly, Ecto-Cooler can return with no worry of ghosts. But really, I don’t want to upset them with this logical solution.

5 thoughts on “How Companies Should Respond to Potential Customers.”

  1. Bill Murray will never do it. But he’s welcome to come back here when he finishes shooting it to ask me to eat crow. 🙂


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