Marketing Shoes and Potatoes


Two marketing initiatives .. what are your thoughts?

Tsa_shoes Saw this advertising message at the San Diego Airport . It's an ad in the bin that you place your stuff before walking through security. It's hard to see but the shoe box is sponsored by Zappos. I quickly took this photo hoping that it wasn't against TSA regulations.

Zappos how about shoe boxes for each region.? Like red cowboy boots for wild Texan girl friends Connie and Nettie or plum stiletto mules by Giuseppe Zanotti for stylin' divas like CK and BL in NYC?

This is a new "convenient twist" on a Potatoregular ol' baking potato. I shot this photo a few months ago at an Atlanta Publix grocery store. Last week an Atlanta Kroger was selling the same thing - baking potatoes in plastic wrap for $1.98 each. The elderly woman who was standing next to me, who almost purchased one, was speechless .. and not with joy.


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Don't get me started on those plastic wrapped potatoes. I was in my local grocery the other day and almost (I said "almost") purchased a couple.

Since when did potatoes become a premium product?! $1.98 for a spud? Mein Gott!

Posted by: Paul Chaney on Mar 25, 2008 10:12:54 PM

I think its brilliant advertising for Zappos - its relevant, its memorable, and it tells the consumer that Zappos understands the hassles of going through security.

Posted by: Bob Wallace on Mar 26, 2008 12:27:10 PM

@Paul - They must be selling if they're in LA and GA. But really adding plastic wrap and charging a premium .. talk about a rip.

@Bob - Not only is the Zappo strategy creative and innovative but fun!

Posted by: Toby on Mar 27, 2008 1:06:21 AM

Toby, I am glad you pointed out the Zappos example; I have thought of doing the same thing myself in my many trips through the San Diego airport! I had the opportunity to meet the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, recently at the Customer Service is the New Marketing conference, and he shared that Zappos is experimenting with different ways to leave brand impressions: this clever one at the airport, appearances on the TV show "What Not to Wear" (they supply the shoes for the makeover outfits, and they have a nice sign to prove it). Of course, word of mouth is gold for them.

And I love your idea of the geographically-appropriate "shoe boxes"! Clever, you! :)

Posted by: Becky Carroll on Mar 27, 2008 1:33:24 AM

@Becky - thanks for adding the back-story about Zappos. Sounds like an out-of-the-box thinking organization. Now to get them to step into social media ;-)

Posted by: Toby on Mar 27, 2008 8:32:02 AM

So does Zappos win the award for shameless promotion or what? That's really silly. Next thing you know the metal detectors will be sponsored by Nike or something. :)

Speaking of marketing/advertising, check out my recent post on the latest Kohl's and JCPenney commercials. I'm digging the lifestyle marketing concept - what about you?

Have a great weekend!
Heather :)

Posted by: Heather Strang on Mar 28, 2008 3:19:52 PM

That IS pretty impressive. I am endleslly amazed at the online shoe industry...I'm a novice to cyber shoe shopping and have recently been immersed in the webpages of an up and coming trendsetter called 88 and a Half Shoes and Accessories ( I learned about them through sydne st. roix the social butterfly who has jawdropping (but really reasonable) handbags on the site (

Whatever the case, I absolutely loved the experience, particularly because it seems the owner uses her website as a platform to promote local designers in the same online atmosphere as the creme de la creme (anne klein, jlo, carlos santana, etc). I think she has huge potential, but wondered what could I suggest to strengthen her branding/beef up her zappos. Besides the very clever item mentioned above, any body else have any bright ideas???


Posted by: cb on Mar 31, 2008 4:59:26 PM

forgot the link...


Posted by: cb on Mar 31, 2008 5:01:05 PM

I'm in upstate NY and they sell the wrapped potatoes 3 for 1.99 Great for microwaving so my boyfriend tells me! As for me I find it a little silly, but don't tell him that.

Posted by: Deb Frawley on Apr 3, 2008 12:33:04 AM

I love the zappos stuff it is a wicked twist to advertising just a little hard to see so maybe not as effective as what it could be.



Posted by: Dave on Apr 19, 2008 6:48:40 PM

What an great marketing idea. Zappos keep on you are doing great.

Posted by: Robert Thomas on May 1, 2008 1:41:02 AM

ya good marketing idea

Posted by: Leeza on May 15, 2008 6:32:37 AM

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