Saturday, April 16, 2011

A disappointing fortune

The fortune cookies arrived along with the bill, as usual. When I cracked mine open, instead of a fortune, I found an ad from American Airlines. "Visit" and a code. What???? The waitress laughed, "They gave us those cookies free!" Then her English ran out and Richard stepped in with Chinese. She literally jumped when he started to speak. This is a common reaction as Chinese people rarely expect "round eyes" to be Chinese speakers.

I checked out the aa connection to get my cheesy fortune. Chinese food digestion is only partially complete until I read the message. On the site is a kind of "instant win" thing where you enter your email address and if you are a "winner" you get from 200 to 1000 miles posted to your frequent flyer account. The promotion is part of a launch of new service including non-stop from LA to Shanghai. 

Clever marketing - they reach a pre-selected audience - people who eat in Chinese restaurants are probably more likely to be interested in traveling to Shanghai than other populations. The surprise of finding the ad on the fortune may enrage you (it did me), but still send you to the website to see what's up and then perhaps engage you even further. The net of it is that I now am aware that American Airlines flies direct to Shanghai. Mission accomplished. 


  1. I would be upset over not having a cheesy fortune! Unless, flying to China is your fortune.

  2. That's the most disgusting thing I've ever see...although the ad-man side of my head says 'Pretty darn clever!"

  3. (I wish there was a place to edit comments.) I meant to say "that's the most disgusting thing I've ever SEEN".

    The proof reader side of my head made me come back and fix it.