Brands Break Down Artificial Barriers, Because They Can

According to The New York Times, small start-ups to giants like Google, are try creating a sense of exclusivity around their offerings by putting up a digital velvet rope.

“Invitation-only services create a halo of privilege and exclusivity for those early adopters that gain access,” said Kartik Hosanagar, a professor of information management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “They get to convey that they were somehow chosen, and that gives them status in their social circles.”

I can’t discount what the Times and the good professor are saying because I know it’s true, but I can call it stupid and unnecessary.

Thankfully, brands are seeing an opportunity to serve here. Coca-Cola, for instance, is offering Spotify invites to American music lovers itching to try the service. Spotify has only been available in Europe, until last week.

Coca-Cola loves music. Particularly free music, that’s easily shareable. That’s why we’re teaming up with Spotify for its launch in the U.S. Just drop in your email to unlock your code for your free subscription and start listening!

After Coke hooks you up, be sure to visit Twitter and Facebook to let everyone know that you have the new toy. Without that important step you won’t feel superior to your friends, and the services in question won’t receive the precious buzz they’re seeking.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.