December 22, 2012

Plain, Helicopters and Automobiles (Part II)

“Apocalypse Averted”
We are still here! Lots of mirth out there given that on December 21 the world was supposed to face a cataclysm or a dramatic shift in consciousness when the Mayan calendar ended. For me, the only shift I felt was the glee inherent to the transition to Christmas holidays.

Courtesy of Fox 12 TV in Portland, Oregon

“Origami Gone Wild”
One reason I am lucky to be working in the automotive sector is that I get many opportunities to drive different types of vehicles and witness how their marketing is developed and executed. Mobility is my mantra. The words become reality when the rubber meets the road. However, as a regular driver I am well aware that part of the ownership experience is the tune-ups or repairs that go with having a car.

To wit: we had our car serviced recently. I was quite satisfied with the way we are usually treated by our local dealer. One element of the generally excellent customer service you receive in Japan is the amount of small gifts they give you to show appreciation for your patronage. Tissues, coffee/tea while you wait, and doting on you while diagnosing the car’s problem or as you wait for the keys to be handed back to you after they fix it.

This time around, they gave the girls some cardboard you-fold-it promo gifts featuring their newest model being rolled out….in the form of a tissue holder!

I was intrigued. The Japanese have perfected the art of paper folding over centuries and the "origami" tradition remains strong to this day. The girls clutched the bright red puzzle given to them at the dealer showroom. Yet even as we got home, it retained their attention, which is unusual. Then we constructed the tissue box, and you can see for yourself that it is nicely thought-out and eye catching. Happy kids, happy parents, and cheap and effective marketing.

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