It’s that time of year … when my email “in box” becomes inundated with well wishes and offers.

Free bottle of wine with dinner at a local restaurant.

Free juice from Boost.

$10 gift voucher from Kikki K.

Even a cake from Ikea!

All I have to do is go to the store and show my email and … boom … I get my birthday present.

And yet, I’m underwhelmed.

Yes, it’s all money for jam, and in this world of conspicuous consumption where so many have so much and so many more have so little, it’s very nice to get something for nothing – but in this age of big data I wonder if this really cuts the mustard? It reminds me of birthday clubs long gone where you’d feel special by getting a birthday card in the mail (yes, snail mail) from Mickey Mouse.

Surely we can do better.

The combination of the exponential growth of technology and the brilliant minds we have in marketing and communications right now demands that we do more. Because we can!

At a minimum, the restaurant that offers me a free bottle of wine with dinner, should know more than just my name and email address. They should know what kind of wine I like.

Boost should definitely know which juice is my favourite.

As the plethora of “happy birthday” emails from companies I’ve bought from meld together like wallpaper, it makes me think an old fashioned card in the post would be a happy surprise. After all, these days all we get in the post are bills and catalogues.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m appreciative for my freebies, but as someone who works in comms, I just feel a bit let down.

Adrianne Nixon is the Founder of Legends & Leaders.

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