As Spark's Jason Paris said in this story, the biggest part the rebrand "is valuing our existing customer base and turning them in to advocates so they become an acquisition channel in their own right". So before the launch of the new brand, Spark set a series of Automatic Thanking Machines loose on the nation to do just that. And while it calls it a world first, perhaps there's some morphic resonance/independent multiple discovery at play, because just this week TD Canada Trust had a hit on its hands with its own benevolent machine.
The ATMs interact with people and give out gifts based on what they're into, whether it be music, movies, technology "or a really big life changing thanks". According to Stuff, a "72-year-old Te Kuiti woman had 26 years of phone bills refunded" as part of the promotion. And, in Christchurch, "prizes to polytechnic nursing student Devon Caffell included a new mobile-based free-plan for a year, a Samsung tablet and $15,000 towards tertiary fees".
The ATM’s were secretly trialled this week around the country, starting in Christchurch and working their way up to Te Kuiti on Wednesday. Three Spark ATMs will be in action in around Auckland today with their own Snapchat account, which will give clues to where they will appear next on launch day and then as they roll-out.
Punters can find out where Spark's ATMs will pop up next by adding SnapSparkNZ on Snapchat or following #SparkATM. And given the deep and burning passion humans have for free stuff, you can bet they'll be popular.
Paris noted with interest Vodafone's recent launch of its scheme to reward existing customers, Fantastic Fridays, and in a release, chief executive Simon Moutter says the Spark Thanks reward programme had been designed around what customers have told the company they love: music, movies and technology.
The programme will offer customers discounts on movie tickets, and early access to and discounts on concert tickets, through strategic partnerships with Event Cinemas and Live Nation. Moutter says more partnerships and associated customer benefits would be announced in the coming weeks.
As for TD Canada Trust's clip, which shows a pimped out ATM delivering more than just cash to its customers, it's already up to eight million views on YouTube.