The Publishers Clearing House Effect


You’re in the shower and your favorite song is playing. You belt out the high notes at the peak of your capabilities. It’s a typical morning and as you leave the shower and begin scraping the foam from your face with the Gillette you notice the feint sound of the doorbell. Completely unprepared for company you swath a towel around your waist and head for the door. Peering out of the little window at the top you read big bold letters P-C-H on a van parked in your driveway. A camera crew awaits on the flip side of the door as you anxiously and unknowingly reveal to the world a half shaved face, bare chested man clad in a Kim Possible beach towel. Completely oblivious of what you were doing just 20 seconds prior, your mind is overwhelmed with the excitement that is to follow.

I referr to this as the PCH effect. You have no opportunity to prepare for the onslaught of goodwill and it arrives at the least opportune moment or in a way that leaves you with little control over your presentations to a sea of open eyeballs. Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because you sing Michael Jackson in high octaves while you lather with Dove for Men. I’m here to remind you that the sweepstakes people might be right outside your door.

This week in tech brought yet another demo, awareness announcement of the mobile offering that has had me occupied for the better part of the year. Leo Laporte and the Twit guys reviewed MapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone while I was in the shower oblivious to the possibility my hard work was being viewed by so many. I keep referring to the shower analogy because, though I feel incredibly flattered and pleased with the air time, I had little control over the presentation. One of the more talked about features is the talking which was hardly talked about because the demo couldn’t be coerced to talk… in a manner of speaking. That’s no fault of those who were rewarding us with coverage. It’s just one of those things that can be a challenge to explain in a 20 second spotlight.

So there you have it, our flattering demo which shows the not so flattering bare chest in a beach towel side of our offering. Totally PCH! You know how you see the people win they win the sweepstakes, or the American Idol contest and they look sorta rough? Then you look back in a few weeks and it’s like, “Wow, they’re kinda attractive!” That’s kinda what I’m feeling, though there’s no clear path to the after effect of people getting that 2nd look so they can be like, “wow I wanna download that app!”

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