Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, February 11, 2021

multiple copies
Not too long ago, I was tapped by marketing firm M80 to blog-review “T-Mobile Connected”, a webisode series created to entertain, captivate — and sell some Sidekicks, by the way.

I agreed, and delivered a somewhat(?) snarky writeup that basically equated “Connected” to a toned-down version of “Entourage”. That isn’t necessarily a put-down. If anything, I’d think an comparison with HBO’s hipster-phenom series would be a benefit to the fledgling Web campaign. Besides, I wanted to see how M80 would react to a review that was anything other than a gushing love note, because from past experience, I’ve found that marketing/PR people don’t expect actual critical contributions from the blogosphere — they generally really want nothing deeper than fan endorsements.

I was happy to learn that M80 was happy with my treatment. Maybe the prominent Google search ranking for “t-mobile connected” had something to do with it. But my liason there, Fred, said they appreciated the coverage, and that I’d be getting a prize pack for my troubles.

Today, I got that prize pack: An Amazon shipment of the first-season DVD set of “Entourage”.

Only problem: I already own that DVD set. I bought it when it first came out a couple of years ago.

I’m not put out by it. Frankly, the fact that the prize was so personalized in response to the work “commissioned” tells me that this was a true grassroots/handmade marketing campaign, versus some big-corporate cookiecutter job. So that’s refreshing. And I thanked Fred for the gift. I didn’t tell him about the double-discing, although I suppose he’ll find out soon enough…

I will, of course, be re-gifting this new “Entourage” copy at some point. I think the circumstances and the double-copy situation are covered by the re-gifting rules of play.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/11/2021 08:31 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, TV
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After six years of rolling with T-Mobile’s HotSpot to power in-store wi-fi Web access, Starbucks has gone another way with an agreement to go with AT&T to provide a mix of free (with purchase) and paid wireless hook-ups, starting this Spring.

My initial reaction to this was “Sonofabitch!” — not because I’m a big T-Mobile fan, but because I landed a free yearlong subscription to HotSpot as part of the One Laptop Per Child donation program. So seemingly, I get screwed by this switcheroo.

But then I read the fine print:

Current T-Mobile HotSpot customers, who pay from $6 per hour-long session to $9.99 for a day pass to $39.99 a month for unlimited access, will get Wi-Fi access at no extra charge through an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile.

So hoo-ray, I don’t get cut off, at least not until early next year. Which is good, because I’ve actually come to rely upon pitstops at random Starbucks outlets for quick checks of email and other info via my iPod Touch. Yes, T-Mobile has other HotSpot partners, but they’re nowhere near as widespread in Manhattan as Starbucks (which is why this development is a real problem for T-Mobile).

Theoretically, I shouldn’t be so dependent on the HotSpot link, given that there’s a big free wi-fi cloud over midtown called CBS Mobile Zone, which I was jazzed about upon announcement. But to date, I’ve never been able to connect to it. It’s definitely there — it comes up as an available wireless client when my iTouch is scanning an area, and I’ve seen ads promoting it. But until I’m able to actually use it, it might as well not be there.

So for the time being, I continue to be on the lookout for Starbucks shops. They’ll get my money, by design — the incidental purchase of a tea and cookie is part of the trap. But I like to stick it to the man half the time by just camping out outside the store and surreptitiously calling up the HotSpot login page.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/11/2021 06:20 PM
Category: Business, New Yorkin', Wi-Fi
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