Marketing Mix: We'll call you - Blockbuster

We rang the movie rental company to find out whether it could literally help us bring entertainment home.

Blockbuster Customer services.

Mktg I heard your radio ad the other day about taking film stars home for the evening, so I'd like to put my name down for Brad Pitt please.

Blockbuster I'm not sure what this is about, sorry. Where did you hear about it?

Mktg An ad on my local radio station said if you rent a video from Blockbuster, you can spend the evening with your favourite actor.

Blockbuster Sorry, I'm not aware of that promotion at all.

Mktg The ad particularly mentioned the actors who starred in Troy.

Blockbuster I don't know anything about it. I really can't help.

Mktg If Brad Pitt's already been allocated, I'd settle for Orlando Bloom.

Blockbuster Nothing has come through to us about this promotion. One moment please (goes off to speak to a colleague). You're being wound up, I'm afraid, or there's been a misunderstanding. The only radio ad we're currently running is for Shrek II, which is nothing to do with Troy or Brad Pitt.

Mktg Is there anyone else I can ask about getting one of the Troy stars to come around to my house?

Blockbuster No, I'm afraid Blockbuster can't arrange that. I think you've got the wrong end of the stick, unfortunately.

Mktg Could my local radio station have aired an ad from a company claiming to be Blockbuster when it isn't?

Blockbuster I would hope not. Why don't you call your local radio station and see if it can help you.

Mktg Shall I come back to you and tell you what they say?

Blockbuster There's no need.

Mktg Don't you want to know if another company is claiming to be Blockbuster?

Blockbuster I very much doubt it is, I think it's just a misunderstanding your end.

Mktg What, I've misunderstood the ad?

Blockbuster OK (getting irritated). I suggest that you call your local radio station. I can't help. Thank you. Bye now.


This was a strange request. However, it was clear from my questions that I had taken the Blockbuster promise about bringing entertainment home literally. Rather than try to delicately explain that I had misinterpreted its ads, the call-handler wanted to palm me off on my local radio station and by the end of the call sounded decidedly irritated. He could have been more friendly and even used some humour to illustrate the ridiculous nature of the request.

Score 4/10.


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