If you’ve driven around Chicago over the past several weeks, you may have spotted a bright blue “Treasure Truck” driving down the road. Thanks to the truck’s unique, stand-out design, it’s hard to think that someone could drive past all that blue and red or all those circus-like embellishments and not have at least some curiosity about what you just saw. I myself was curious, so I did some research and here are the answers I found.
It turns out this Treasure Truck I saw is one of many in a nationwide marketing campaign from Amazon. These trucks travel within 11 cities around the US, including Chicago, Dallas, Boston and San Diego. The truck carries around one specific product at a time, and offers it for sale at a discounted price compared to the price of the item on Amazon’s site.
To find out what the Treasure Truck is selling, you have to sign up for text alerts or push-notifications in the Amazon app, at which point you’ll be notified when the truck will be making a stop near you. Users can purchase the discounted item through the app and pick it up wherever the truck stops that day.
Lately Amazon has been selling a mix of electronic items such as the new Nintendo SNES console, fresh food such as steak or salmon and apparel including New Balance shoes. The Treasure Truck has also been known to give away free items from time to time (Ben and Jerry’s, anyone?), as well as to be stocked with everything needed for family-friendly activities such as pumpkin painting.
I find Amazon’s idea to be a very clever and creative way to build buzz for their company using an unexpected platform. Since people are used to only seeing Amazon on their screens, it’s refreshing to see a bit of their brand in the wild. This isn’t new for Amazon—their forays into brick and mortar retail have gotten tons of buzz over the past few years—but to tweak the food truck model and bring a sense of unexpected adventure is a welcome addition to the marketing mix.
While awareness is obviously not the point of this campaign, the same takeaway could be applied for smaller brands to get people talking and to create momentum. The key here is fueling curiosity, and encouraging people to look up more about something they’ve seen in the world on their own. From here, the goal is that this person will share their newfound knowledge with their peers, or perhaps post about what they’ve discovered on social media.
Have you scored a sweet deal through Amazon’s Treasure Truck? What was the experience like? Worth the hype? Let us know in the comments!