Blog : mail goggles: calculated control

Monday October 13, 2008

Leave it to a Google employee to come up with some true innovation in e-mailing: Mail Goggles (check out the creator’s blog post about it) The company recently released the Gmail feature that, when enabled on weekend nights, requires e-mailers to solve math problems before allowing messages to be sent. The idea, of course, is to prevent inebriated typists from sending e-mails they’ll regret when sober.

While sloshed e-mailers everywhere are rejoicing, it does beg the question of what marketing opportunities such a feature might present. Like maybe the feature prompts ads for alcohol, or maybe even AA meetings. After all, marketing these days is all about connecting with a given demographic and targeting an audience who’s already likely to be interested in your good or service. Maybe when a Mail Goggle is enabled, advertisements for late-night pizza deliveries could appear. Or maybe online ads for dating services for those folks who turned on Mail Goggle to prevent e-mailing an ex during a moment of beer-induced loneliness.

Not that marketers should prey on the weaknesses of the intoxicated… But come on! Half the people who are drunk are likely to order a pizza anyway and not regret it, so they might as well have the correct pizza phone number in front of them. Besides, regretting ordering a pizza is a lot better a regret than accidentally e-mailing your mom that message intended for your boyfriend.

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