Thanks to the internet, you can do some really random things. Oh, you want an example? Believe it or not, if you desire, you can send a customized potato to anyone you please in the world.
Last week on Instagram I shared an image of the new stationary I received for Christmas. Part of this stationary set that my mother-in-law gave me included envelopes with my address on them. The social media professional at the University of Arizona, Kimberly Davis, saw this and notified me that she was going to send me something.
In the back of my head throughout the week, I looked forward to what Kimberly was going to send me. She said it was a surprise and when the words “it’s a surprise” comes out of someone’s mouth who happens to work in social media you know it is most likely going to be a little wacky.
Yesterday I went out and got the mail. Stuffed in our box was a small manila packaging envelope. It was addressed to me and it contained an obvious object in it. Although it was from a San Francisco return address with no name on it, I knew the package was from Kimberly. I took it inside to open it up.
I sat on our couch, put the package on our living room table, and ripped it open. The object rolled out and caught me by surprise. The initial feeling of surprise went to a quick feeling of disgust that then turned into a feeling of I can’t believe the things people come up with…
Kimberly had sent me a POTATO in the mail. After the surprise went away, I immediately questioned whether it was sanitary to even come into contact with a produce item that went on a week-long journey inside an envelope across the country. I touched the potato just enough to turn it over and I saw the written message on it: Hey Brent! – Kimberly.
The potato was accompanied by a slip of paper. It was now clear what had happened. Kimberly used the services of a company called Potato Parcel. Customers pay $10 to have a potato with a message written on it sent to anyone in the country. For a little bit more money, folks can send a spud internationally or have a colored image superimposed on it.
Think about that for a second: There is a successful company that makes money off of sending potatoes with messages written on them through the mail.
Why didn’t I think of that?!
Potato Parcel depends on social media to get word out about its services. The slip of paper that accompanied the potato had hashtags to use and handles to follow. I posted my photo with my potato using the hashtag across a couple different social media platforms and immediately I received responses from the Potato Parcel social accounts. I browsed the hashtag myself on Instagram and it seemed like the posted images were endless.
Supposedly the creators of Potato Parcel went on Shark Tank. I have yet to look it up on YouTube but I am anxious to see how the presentation went and how the Sharks reacted. Kudos to the people behind Potato Parcel and thanks to my counterpart in Tucson for making me aware that it is possible to send a vegetable through the mail. Don’t Blink.