Recently, an interesting clip popped up in my twitter feed.
A woman in Costco is pushing a shopping trolley, she’s got a mask hanging off one ear.
A female staff member approaches and says: “Excuse me ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to put that mask on.”
The woman says: “I’m wearing the mask, look.”
The staff member says: “It’s hanging on your ear, it has to cover your mouth and nose.”
The woman says: “The sign says I have to wear a mask, well I’m wearing a mask.”
The staff member says: “For everyone’s protection, I have to ask you to wear it over your mouth and nose.”
The woman says: “This is America, don’t tell me what to do.”
The staff member says: “You signed a contract to shop in Costco, to abide by our rules. We ask everyone to wear a mask unless they have a health issue, do you have a health issue?”
The woman says: “Yes I have a health issue.”
The staff member says: “What is your health issue?”
The woman says: “I’m 73 and in perfect health.”
The staff member says: “Then I’m going to have to ask you to put on the mask.”
The woman says: “Well then I’m leaving.”
She pushes her shopping trolley over to the cashier, the cashier doesn’t move.
The staff member says: “Ma’am, you can’t pay for that until you put your mask on.”
The woman says: “Get the manager” and sits down in the middle of the store.
The staff member says: “Ma’am, would you sit over here, so people can get round you?”
The woman says: “Not until I get a refund.”
The manager turns up and says: “Ma’am, if you put your mask on I’ll get you a refund.”
The woman says: “I ain’t bought anything to get a refund.”
The manager says: “Well if you put your mask on I’ll see how I can help you.”
The woman says: “I don’t wanna shop here no more, I wanna cancel my agreement.”
The manager says: “If you put your mask on, I can handle that for you.”
Eventually, the final shot is the woman storming out of Costco and throwing the mask on the ground in a dramatic gesture.
Now the interesting part for me is that this must all be Costco security camera footage.
So Costco must have released it to online media: YouTube, Twitter, etc.
And in fact, when you go onto YouTube, there are lots of clips of people freaking out because they’re not allowed to shop at Costco without wearing a mask.
The most interesting thing for me is that Costco sales have increased dramatically since they’ve been releasing this footage online.
It has exactly the opposite effect to what the outraged customers intended.
They thought the infringement of liberty would make people stop shopping at Costco.
But it seems people want to shop at Costco, a place where sane, healthy people can find quality goods with staff who ensure standards.
This is the smart way to use social media.
Take something everyone loves to watch, nutcases having a meltdown, and without any comment let people draw their own conclusions.
No advertising with pious ‘brand purpose’ messages.
No vacuous ad campaigns with the mandatory happy/woke families and anodyne endlines.
In fact no branding, no words, no claims at all.
No attempt to tell people how to think, no call to action, no brand cues, no pack shots.
Just unedited footage leaving people to draw their own conclusions.
Strange, how people don’t actually need conventional, patronising advertising.
This first appeared in Dave Trott's Blog here