Hastings Humans has been providing businesses all across the country with friendly, telephone answering services and five star customer service since 1948. When you’ve been around that long, you’re going to accrue a hefty pile of old equipment. While doing a little housecleaning, Hastings stumbled on some classic phones from the 1980s. Rather than trash them, we came up with a plan to give Hastings Humans a viral boost.
We took a gentle jab at Austin’s farm-to-table, fixie bicycle culture by posting the old phones to Craigslist as “vintage, artisanal telephones,” with appropriately sepia-toned artwork. Not wanting to overplay our hand, we posted the listing to a dusty corner of Reddit to see if anyone would bite. Sure enough, a few days later, our listing was at the top of the Austin subreddit with 158 upvotes and dozens of commenters wanting to be in on the joke. For the cost of a Craigslist ad (free) and a Reddit post (also free), Hastings Humans spent several days on the front page of a subreddit with more than 57,000 subscribers, generating brand awareness and showing off its sense of humor.