Amazon Video Recreated an Iconic NYC Deli and Invited People By Text

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Learn how the Tool of North America marketing team used SMS to make their popup event for the Season 2 launch of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" a success.

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"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is an Emmy Award winning series produced by Amazon. They worked with the agency Tool of North America for this promotion.

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For the launch of the second season of the show, Amazon needed a way to easily connect with fans to inform them of available tickets at their popup event.

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Using our API, they were able to collect thousands of phone numbers. They sent out their first text blast and sold out of tickets in less than 60 seconds.

The Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” dominated the small screen when Amazon released the first season in March of 2017. Viewers were enamored by the sharp wit of Miriam “Midge” Maisel as she carved out a space for herself in the male-dominated 1950’s stand-up comedy scene. The show has continued to win hearts with its second season, released on December 5, 2018.

To celebrate this release, the marketing gurus at Tool of North America were tasked with an ambitious stunt: recreate the show’s iconic Carnegie Deli.

From designing placemats and paper cups to hiring an entire wait staff, the team brought the magic of the 1950’s to life in the middle of lower Manhattan. Fans of the show flocked to the scene for this special seven day pop-up experience. With the benefit of 2000’s era technology on their side, SMS text messaging helped to make this event a standout smash.

Texting With 6,000 Hungry Fans

Before the event, which only ran December 1-8, there was a lot of buzz. With a limited amount of tables in the deli, reservations sold out within a few hours of opening on the pop-up website. This left the team with an interesting dilemma– how to accommodate the thousands of people still trying to get in.

That’s when SMS came into the picture.

Through a form on the event’s website, they collected phone numbers for the waitlist. Utilizing our Mailchimp integration, they were able to sync their contacts into their SimpleTexting profile. While they still emailed out daily updates on the event, they found that texting was the most efficient way to fill newly opened tables in real time.

David Addison, who lead the tech and communication for the project, says “Everyone has their phone basically all the time, so when we had spots open they could be filled quickly. After one blast, within 28 seconds, our list was full!”

For David, a long time email marketing proponent, the best part about using the SMS platform was the ability to engage with his audience in a different way through personal, direct, one-on-one conversations.

Connecting With Superfans

Waitlist text blasts were a way to serve the masses equally on a first come first serve basis. Fair and square. But text messaging is more than just a megaphone, it’s a communication channel. For David and the team, this meant it was an opportunity to give super fans the chance to bump themselves up on the list.

With our unique link tracking feature, David found he was able to send out the Season 2 trailer with the incentive that anyone who watched it would be bumped up on the waitlist. He even created an autoresponder to follow up with fans based off the approximate time it would take them to watch the trailer!

Near the end of the week he texted out quizzes and trivia about the show. Correct answers moved superfans up on the list. In some instances, fans texted back with quotes from the show or stories about why they wanted to come see the deli.

“One woman texted us that she was 74 years old and driving up from Pennsylvania to wait in the five-hour line just for takeout. She was going to bring her friends to celebrate her birthday and dress in 1950’s era clothing,” notes David. “I was so touched I responded back personally and told her we were so glad she was coming, and that we would be happy to get her a reservation. It’s nice to have the automation, but a personal conversation like that never would have happened with email.”

Working on a Time Crunch

For David and the team at Tool, months of work went into creating a near exact replica of this 1958 treasure. But when it came down to the numbers, nobody anticipated the sheer volume of interest they were met with on December 1st.

David was on a time crunch, and the decision to implement SMS marketing came at the eleventh hour. He needed to set up multiple campaigns for this to work, and fast.

"The SimpleTexting team was incredible, even before I was a customer. Just when I was in the trial they had me up and rolling completely in a heartbeat. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better onboarding experience with that level of support and help. From sign-up to sending out thousands of these texts in an hour."
David Addison

Director of Technology

For David, utilizing SMS was a welcome addition to his arsenal of marketing tools. But it was the support he was able to receive through every step of his popup that is going to keep him coming back for more.

What’s Next?

David and the team at Tool of North America have hardly had time to rest since the popup closed its doors on December 8th. With some other projects in the pipeline, what we do know is that text marketing will be a mainstay for David going forward. As he puts it, “It was super easy for me to say yes to the product. It’s a no-brainer.”

Well David, the pleasure has been all ours. Our team was thrilled to work alongside you on such an innovative experience. We’re excited to see all the ways our product can continue to inspire and assist creatives with all kinds of projects!

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