Apple And iTunes Sent Me A $50 Gift Card For No Apparent Reason

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With all of the talk about how Microsoft sent a bunch of Bloggers an Acer Ferrari laptop with Windows Vista preloaded on it in hopes that they would talk about Vista on their respective Blogs, there seems to be a renewed discussion around the topic of ethics, bribes and other treason-nesque public relations challenges when dealing with Bloggers. How does the following story make you feel?
I received an envelope that looked like an invitation from Apple. There was no name on it, just the Apple logo on the front of the envelope and the iTunes Customer Service address on the back with a Canadian return address. Inside the envelope was what looked like an invitation, but when opened, it holstered a fifty dollar iTunes Music Card.
The weird part was that there was no note, no message, no business card attached, no nothing. So what was the point? Was it because I had Blogged positively about the new Apple iPhone and Apple TV? Was it because they are just randomly picking people with Blogs and are sending them a gift? Was it a bribe? (ok, clearly, it’s not a bribe).
So here I am shocked and surprised (I wonder what Andy Nulman would have to say about this over at Pow! Right Between The Eyes?).
Why would Apple iTunes not include any message whatsoever? Maybe this is the exact expectation – someone would get the gift card and Blog about it, therefore creating some “free” recognition for iTunes. That one doesn’t sit right with me either.
Is this a new form of grassroots marketing, was it just a mistake or is Apple really listening to the Blogosphere and rewarding those they appreciate?
Thoughts? … and when I say “thoughts,” I’m also open to suggestions on what to spend the fifty bucks on πŸ˜‰


  1. Could also be someone got you a gift and totally forgot to put a gift message? Just another option perhaps.
    How to spend $50 in iTunes. That’s a rough problem to have!! Buy the musical episode of Scrubs. You’ll laugh out loud. Then buy “See the Sun” from Black Lab if you haven’t and everything MUNK has up there.
    Then look up the recent Bridge School Concerts that are up there. Some AMAZING live tracks from a huge variety of artists.
    You know me, I could go on and on. I am going to be interested to see if these mystery cards start popping up around the blogosphere or in my mailbox πŸ™‚

  2. Hm. Although I didn’t blog about the iPhone I haven’t blogged about my love for my mac products…and I didn’t get no $50 card (hint, hint…)
    Maybe it has something to do with your music roots? Good taste in music?
    If you don’t have it already…the new TV on the Radio, Bonnie Prince Billy and since Pete is out of rehab, Babyshambles.

  3. About two years ago, I purchased a new i-pod mini. I enjoyed it, and used it daily for well over a year and a half, until I turned it on one morning to find that the earpiece jack no longer worked.
    “No problem” I said to myself- “I’ll just get it fixed.”
    Easier said than done…
    Like many of us, I neglected to buy the i-pod warranty. As a result, Apple asked me to shell out $300 to fix it – even though the original unit was purchased for $140.
    Apple has a monopoly on this market, and has locked many of us into using their products. I wasn’t able to replace my i-pod with a cheap knock-off, because all the songs I legally purchased from i-tunes have been incrypted – and can only be played on apple devices!
    When I started to tell my friends about my ordeal, feedback came back in droves that Apple is known for these practices throughout the market: Selling products- interlinking, and unusable without each other- then waiting for the planned obsolesence to kick in- about a month AFTER the one year factory warranty wears off.
    So, a lot of us have been angry at Apple, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they sent out gift cards as a mass marketing scheme, to get us all suckered back into their company.
    If I’m any indicator, it was a brilliant plan: I used my new $50 gift card towards a brand new I-pod nano…. This time, complete with warranty! πŸ˜‰

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