Dr Mumbo

What’s in the box, Google?


Google is one of those services which prides itself on being very simple and straightforward. Which is why its latest  campaign has left a lot of customers baffled.

The search engine giant sent out a locked box to some of its clients – regular readers might remember the last locked box PR stunt we reported on, which ended with the bomb squad being called to Australia Square.

However, rather than cause a public disturbance, this stunt caused a lot of irritation with at least one customer, who we’ll call Mr X.

“I opened it and there was another box with a padlock on it and instructions telling me to search online for the key to opening the box,” Mr X told Dr Mumbo.

“Then I searched online and it tells you to watch a video to unlock the first digit…”

You see where this is headed.

At this point Mr X lost his patience. “It was so elaborate, Im not going to watch a daisy chain of videos to open a box” he added.


Instead he pulled the lock straight off. Tight security. Inside the box he found a note describing the circuitous process of opening the box as a great taste of the Google experience – one he could share with his customers, and what he described as a “$5 set of Bluetooth headphones”.

“Making me jump through hoops is just annoying, I think something has gone awry – they have taken a very simple message and made it very complicated, now I have this and I’m just irritated.

“It’s just sitting here – essentially they sent me a pair of headphones I don’t want.”

It would seem not all locked boxes are worth opening.


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