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Golden Girl

When granny talks, people listen.
July 1, 2001
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/41264

Your granny may call all the time, but it's not every day you get a call from the Granny. About 5,000 corporate gift-buyers nationwide received holiday messages from Granny (84-year-old Pauline Goldberg) in a recent marketing stunt orchestrated by Josh and Seth Frey, 29 and 30 respectively, co-founders of Granny's Goodies Inc., a corporate gift-service company in Alexandria, Virginia.

The voice mail was a comical dialog between Granny and Josh. "After we sent [it]," says Josh, "people called back, laughing and saying, 'We got the message; it was hilarious.'" The campaign proved an effective way to stand out with existing and potential corporate customers during the busy holiday season, when most of the Freys' competitors invest in seasonal catalogs for customers.

In a break from tradition, the Frey brothers concentrated instead on directing traffic to their Web site via direct-marketing pieces and follow-up voice-mail greetings from Granny. The stunt worked. It also prompted the busiest fourth quarter in company history.

"We thought it would be fun to do something creative that people would remember," says Josh. If we hadn't yet established a relationship with them, maybe they'd give us a shot. If we had, it would at least entertain them and remind them to buy from us again."


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