credit photo: kenn wilson

credit photo: kenn wilson

A recent trip through New York’s Laguardia airport, had me pass through security on a late evening trip back home. I had been up since 4:00 AM, worked throughout the day, and was heading back home on a late evening flight. After waiting in the security line for about 20 minutes, I approached the always painful step of removing everything I possess. Exhausted, I emptied my pockets (pens, keys, coins, etc), took out my laptop from my briefcase, removed my winter coat and suit coat, ┬áremoved my belt, and then the always humiliating task of removing my shoes. As I placed my shoes into the security bin, I was faced with this Zappos ad staring back at me - it brought a smile to my face and a warm chuckle. What a creative ad!!

For those of you who do not know, Zappos is one of the world’s leading online e-commerce sites that sells SHOES. That’s all, just shoes. And they generated over $1 Billion in revenue last year…selling shoes, online. It is an incredible success story with a unique culture. Zappos was recently purchased by Amazon, but have remained a fully independent operating unit. Based on their continued success, I am not sure why that would change.

I don’t know who came up with this idea, but I think it is brilliant. I expect there will be a loud chorus of negative and grumpy individuals who will say how inappropriate this is - “how can you take advantage of this dreadful security situation”, “this is not the place for a flippant insensitive advertisement”, yada, yada. Well, I beg to differ. It’s got a real ironic humor to it and it made me smile - what else can I ask for. Aside from the fact that it is likely to be a great marketing campaign for Zappos.

Zappos has always done things their own way, and I am sure they understood the risks and rewards from such a campaign, and then made their own decision. Kudos to Zappos and whoever thought of this one!

What do you think? Thumbs up or down?