Yesterday, I received a lumpy mailer from a company I’d never heard of. Normally I give unsolicited mail about the same amount of consideration you probably do—a few seconds.

But since it was, well, lumpy, and delivered via FedEx I opened it. Here’s what I found:


On one side, it says “Yes, these are real grasshoppers. They’ve even been approved by the FDA of Thailand.”

On the other side:

You’re a risk-taker, a dream-realizer. What’s left to do that you haven’t already done? Eat a grasshopper. They’re farm raised, covered in chocolate and rich in protein. So, not only will you be breaking boundaries, but you’ll be eating healthy, too.

The attached tag included the call to action:

Entrepreneurs can change the world.
Join the movement now!

I really didn’t have the time, but I couldn’t resist jumping on this to learn what it was all about. The URL takes you to a page with the following video:

As it turns out, Grasshopper offers a nicely-packaged virtual PBX service for businesses. It’s a direct competitor to Grand Central, a similar service recently purchased by Google that’s locked down while Google integrates it into their systems.

Five things I loved about this campaign

  1. The FedEx package made it feel urgent without using deceptive “Urgent – Open Immediately” language. This is message responsible.
  2. Lumpy mail gets opened.
  3. This is textbook example of how to do a word of mouth campaign. Chocolate covered grasshoppers? I had to share this with colleagues and with you.
  4. A little mystery goes a long way. There was no sales copy—just a creative idea and a URL to learn more. Irresistible.
  5. The landing page made it easy to share the video on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and and a host of other sites using an AddThis widget.

And the three things I didn’t love

  1. Each tag was numbered, X of 5,000, and I understand after doing some research for this post that Grasshopper sent these packages to the people they deemed the 5,000 most influential people in America. Very flattering. But at first I thought I might need this code when I logged onto the website. Not so. This is not a limited edition keepsake, it’s a marketing piece. And by letting me know there were so many produced, it made me feel less special—at least initially.
  2. The moving-text style video that was so fresh and interesting a year ago is beginning to get tired. I still like it, but it would seem every ‘movement’ has a video like this associated with it.
  3. Which brings me to the whole ‘movement’ thing. I like to be inspired as much as the next entrepreneur, but I’m approaching my ‘movement’ saturation point. How many movements can one person truly join?

Still, Grasshopper has succeeded where most fail. In one fell swoop, they got my attention, held it, and they got me talking. And though I don’t need their service, If I did, I’d consider them.

So, what do you think of Grasshopper’s campaign?

Would you eat a chocolate covered grasshopper? (I won’t)

But if you’d like to try one, contact me and we’ll make it happen. I’ll post a video of you eating one here and you’ll be famous.