You know the type, the uber-geek who pitches a tent and camps out for hours or even days to be the 1st to get [insert the MUST HAVE gadget of the
year week here]. The iPhone 5 (or 4s…or whatever Apple is gonna call it) will be no exception as fan-boys/girls, techies, nerds, and hipsters are already scouring the web to find out when the device may release so they can get their camping gear ready.
Unlike the other early adopters willing to call-in sick or use up their remaining vacation balance just for bragging rights, Rob Shoesmith (garbage man turned mobile app developer) has other plans. He feels that Apple product releases are an event in and of themselves. So he has devised a plan that started as a gimmick to get companies to donate gear that will help him “survive the elements” while he waits for the new Apple smartphone, that has quickly spawned into a full-on marketing campaign that has already received global attention…and more gear than he knows what to do with.
Rob originally got some buzz as a UK garbage man by day who moved into the mobile app development space with the help of the MEDL Mobile App Incubator. With a couple of apps under his belt and a new gig on the marketing team with MEDL Mobile (of course he ditched the trash), he now has his sights on marketing awesomeness by reaching out to companies in hopes to get some of their products so he can showcase…and use, whilst he himself camps out for Apple’s latest MUST-HAVE gadget. I was able to get in touch with Rob just to pick his brain on the what, why, when and where behind what he dubs “The iPhone 5 Experiment”
What is the ultimate goal of the experiment?
The ultimate goal is to meet and connect with the media and key players in the mobile industry. I’ve been mulling over the idea for a couple of years now about camping out for the iPhone, but due to my then day job as a trash collector, I didn’t have the time to do it. I’ve recently started a full-time job with an app development company called MEDL Mobile. This is how I got into app development and marketing. Part of my new job involves dreaming up fun and engaging ways to promote the company and connect with the media. The press are all over Apple products right now, so I thought how about using Apples huge marketing draw to promote what I’m doing and live a life of luxury outside the Apple Store.
There is only one rule to my iPhone 5 experiment! I cannot spend any money on my travel, on any food, camping equipment, clothing or entertainment. The response has been amazing. I even have restaurants delivering fine food to my tent, a personal trainer, mobile hairdresser, a live band playing and a car given to me to transport all of my gear!
NIIIICE! This is probably a softball question, but why the iPhone 5 and not some other company/brand/device?
Apple product launches generate worldwide editorial exposure, which I know companies helping me out will love. As I work for an app developer, the new iPhone 5 launch is the perfect place to undertake this experiment.
Since there is no official word on when the iPhone 5 will be released, when will you decide to pack up all your gear so you can make it to the Number 1 spot?
That’s something I haven’t decided yet. It depends on how many more products that are donated to me. I don’t want to rush any reviews on items that are donated. So in other words it could be days, weeks or months. You will all have to keep an eye on my blog and twitter feed. I won’t reveal it until I get to the apple store.
Makes sense to keep the date on the low. I could see how someone would try and jump on the spot before you just to throw some hate you way. But let’s just throw it out there: What if you’re NOT the first person in line?
I’m going to try and do everything I can to be first, but its not about being first. It’s about how many companies jump on the Apple marketing train and the experience of camping out without spending any money in doing so.
Let’s just say phase 1 of Rob’s experiment is complete. According to his blog dedicated to the iPhone 5 experiment, he has received an almost overwhelming response from brands/products looking to join in and receive some of the shine Rob will throw their way. I say almost overwhelming because Rob has stated that coordinating with the companies has been the most time-consuming. “It’s almost like planning a movie production. Since I have a ton of gear I will be using, I’m trying to arrange security for while I’m in line, and I have been donated a gazebo, so I need to check with the local government to make sure I’m allowed to pitch it outside of the Apple Store.”
Speaking of gear, The amount of gear he has received is mind-numbing. From Snuggies, to media players, to food prep, to clothes, to power for his gadgets, to a car…you name it, Rob has received it. Companies are indeed jumping on the bandwagon, and Rob will have to make sure that the companies get a decent ROI (…I guess this is where I break down ROI and let you know that it means Return On Investment). From the looks of it, now matter how early he jumps in line, he couldn’t possibly review all the items while he is in line…even though he may try. So check out his iPhone 5 Experiment site to see all of the companies who have donated thus far, and to follow Rob’s story as it goes from a guy looking to make some extra dough developing apps as a side hustle, to a full-time gig with a mobile app development company, to making some serious NOISE in the marketing game as the iPhone 5 release day draws near.