So You Want to be an Entrepreneur: Turning a ‘WTF’ into a ‘Well Played’

SMS Text

I was checking my mail today and got a strange package from a sender I did not recognize.

When I opened the package I found a VHS tape inside, with the title ‘So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur – Training Video Series’.


After my shock at seeing a VHS tape a decade after they went extinct, I immediately went into marketing critique mode, thinking ‘how dumb a company has to be to mail a VHS tape when no one in the world would be able to view it anyhow’.

I went to toss the whole thing in the trash and noticed a sticky note on the back reading ‘No VCR Player?‘.

Ah ha–  the shrewdness of this stunt hit me, which of course meant I just had to see what they were trying to sell me.


I arrived on a rather nicely designed site, featuring some slick Ted Gantry guy and a video.


Still expecting some lame attempt to sell me on some Entrepreneur video series, I started watching the following video:

I don’t know how many of you remember the viral marketing campaign that Grasshopper, a virtual phone system, did a few years back. They had sent chocolate-covered grasshoppers to selected bloggers (including myself) in an effort to get us to write about it, which most of us did.

And it turns out this VHS tape, website and video was another marketing campaign by… Grasshopper. Well played. Color me impressed (and ready to be “an Entrepreneur where the world is my office” :))

What did you think about their campaign and video?

Brent Csutoras

Brent Csutoras

Managing Partner & Chief Social Media Strategist at Search Engine Journal
Founder & CEO of Pixel Road Designs, a well respected marketing design firm, and Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal. Brent has over 10 years experience in Social Media Marketing and is an avid Futurist, focusing on the implications of future technology on society and societal growth.
Brent Csutoras
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  • Alan Bleiweiss

    I’m sure for those who took the time to follow the clue trail, it turned to to be a campaign with a positive impact. I’m curious how many just threw it out, adding to the untold volumes of plastic in city dumps across America that are polluting our world, based on the first thought reaction to a VHS tape.

    So I’d sure like to see the data on the value such a campaign had for Grasshopper. Because it seems like in insane waste of resources and something not good for the environment…

  • Jenise Uehara Henrikson

    One hopes the VHS tape that Grasshopper sent was in fact rescued from a trash heap somewhere… there has to be piles of them for the taking, can you even buy them new anymore?
    Brent you should dig up a working VCR and play the thing… could be interesting “footage” on there 😉

    • Brent Csutoras

      I actually saw a comment on their Facebook page that someone did and it was worth watching.

  • Chad Harris


    Glad I stumbled across this today…Love the Marketing Effort that Grasshopper has taken to engage people. Smart thinkers.


  • Alexandra Petean-Nicola

    I really like these campaigns. They entertain, they make you laugh and that’s the moment when you let your guard down and they change your perspective. Exaggerating mistakes and making them funny it makes them stick to your head of what not to do. Plus the VCR tape is a great guerilla marketing element that sends the right message with their campaign.

  • Ragulan

    Interesting facts Brent. These are Guerrilla marketing techniques which work in big time with less cost involved.
    Smart out of box thinking.