Melbourne entrepreneur Scott Kilmartin was frustrated on Thursday last week.
The owner/operator of cool recycled products brand Haul was fired up after Westpac's electronic payment system (including EFTPOS) went down for much of one day, leaving businesses such as Scott's in a spot of financial bother.
Scott (or was it his 'celebrity' dog Gus the Boxer that came up with the idea?) quickly went into action and posted a 'distressed' promotion on the company's Facebook page, following up with messages to the Twitterverse.
Here was the wording in full irreverence:
SALE, SALE, SALE!
In honour of Westpac leaving us high and dry with an EFPTOS machine & online payment gateway experiencing 'technical difficulties' we've decided to have a SALE.
ALL Westpac & St George customers get %33 off EVERYTHING in our North Fitzroy store.
Methods of Payment:
CASH, rubber cheques, IOU's scribbled on the back of beer coasters (with a note from your mum saying you'll cough up the coin).
Raid that rainy day stash, smash that piggy bank and show Gus your ATM cards (what else are you going to do with them today) at the door.
SALE ends whenever Westpac comes online
Fast-forward to Tuesday.
The IT section of The Australian newspaper covered the Westpac debacle and featured a pic of Scott with his 'stern face' on.
A lesson for marketing in today's high velocity hyper-connected age:
When you post something on Facebook - when you tweet about it - if you're clever enough, who knows where the story will lead?
In Haul's case, some good publicity in a major daily national newspaper in a section that's perfect for the brand - you see, many of Haul's products are laptop satchels and iPad covers made from recycled advertising billboards. And who reads the IT pages?
All up - not great for Westpac, but pretty cool for Haul.