Around end of November last year, famous UAE-based online free classifieds site Dubizzle, who just expanded their marketing team, wanted to survey its email subscribers.  What is generally a boring activity, and probably one that drives many people to unsubscribe (nobody wants emails asking them for their time without anything in return), was turned into a brilliant and very clever brand experience, using simple ideas, simple technologies, and a dose of humor.  Here is what Dubizzle did.

The email asked email subscribers to take a survey, or alternatively, “punish” the marketing director of Dubizzle, Arto Joensuu, for wasting their time.  Needless to say, the mere fact of giving you the choice to “punish” Arto, would get you curious about how you could punish him.

The “punish” button took you to a page on, where you were invited to play a video to fulfill the punishment.  The language, and tone were very playful in nature and easily induced you to actually play the video.  In a nutshell, the video shows Arto working on a desk, and the Co-founder of Dubizzle, walking into the room, taking a stroll next to Arto, not talking at all, then exiting the room and switching off the lights on Arto… this is the link to the “punish” page.

Dubizzle mastered several elements in this email that contributed to making it memorable, including the apologetic and candid subject line of “Sorry to bother you but…”, the informal yet straight to the point tone of the email, the choice of font, the 1st person “I” being used, humanizing the brand, and the choice of action verbs which, though harsh in real life, sounded very funny in the email when it offered, “Punish Arto for asking.”

It was a simple idea, using basic technology, that turned out to be excellent way to drive people to take a survey, or, for the people who did not want to participate, perhaps get them to interact with the video. By using a candid tone, Dubizzle drove clicks and interaction with their brand.

In conclusion, it’s not hard to drive more clicks and interaction with your customers. All it takes is a little planning and a little humor. But making the extra effort to design something that’s fun and exciting may make all the difference for your brand.