BECU is one of the businesses on campus this week, and they are trying something that is apparently hot right now which, in the world of marketing, is referred to as "experience creation." Basically, they don't directly try to sell you anything or even tell you anything...they just try to create a fun participatory event that impressionable young consumers will remember and talk about later. BECU set up outside my office window with a "cash cube" which is the ridiculous contraption you see at left.
And this is how it came to pass, that towards the end of an otherwise normal workday, I suddenly found myself inside a cash cube, wearing safety googles, and grabbing at money like a total idiot.
One of my work friends had pretty much insisted that I go down there and spin the wheel. I did it, mostly just to humor her. The wheel stopped at various prizes, like post-it notes and highlighers, with the big prize obviously being the cash cube. I spun, and watched the wheel sloooowly stop at...cash cube! It was magical.
After that, I started having an out-of-body experience, so I don't remember many details. All I know is, I was in the zone. Some girl handed me the safety goggles and even made me sign a waiver--like, how you could even hurt yourself in a cash cube, I have no idea--and she explained the rules to me. You couldn't pick money off the floor or touch the ceiling or walls. You couldn't put money in your clothes although you could hold it in your mouth if you wanted--"Which is disgusting, I know," she added, "but some people do it."
I was just waiting for her to stop talking so that I could get in that cube! It's amazing how fast your personal dignity flies out the window when you suddenly find yourself in the position to win a few lousy bucks. So in I went and--bam! there was money flying all around me and an audience watching and I was grabbing at dollar bills like a moron. It was so fun! My office mate said that I just held my hands low the whole time and let the dollar bills fly up into them, which wasn't a strategy that I had consciously thought out, but I was just totally in the cash cube zone, man. It's like a Zen thing.
Then my time was up, and I stepped out and they counted my money. I won $17 (out of a possible $50)! I did pretty well.
And then I went back to my office, and my normal workday resumed just like nothing had ever happened and it was all just some crazy dream. It...was...awesome!!
It was also the first time in my whole life that I have had a 100% positive interaction with a bank. So, as far as I'm concerned, their promotion was a huge success, and as a marketing ploy, sheer genius.