Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pointed Post

Former DCist editor/all around higher education gadfly Rob Goodspeed took up the matter of finding out some universal truths about the Washington Post's "Post Points" - WaPo's earnest "earn rewards as you go" program whose commercials you see on the teevee all the time, and, surprise! He discovered that it's largely a bunch of horsecrap:

A quick look at the rewards dampened my enthusiasm. A $10 CVS gift card looked like a useful prize. However, at 3,385 points it would take me 677 days of Express reading or almost one year of reading both a print publication and the website to earn enough points to earn it. If I purchased copies of the Post from newsstands for the $10 gift card, it would cost me $338.50 in newspapers. Taking 1 minute a day to enter the Express daily code would add up to 11.3 hours for the gift card. A $25 Visa gift card was even more out of reach. At 6,325 points, it would take 3.47 years of reading one publication daily to earn enough points for it.

Eek. This basically means that if the Post wanted to fund the media buy for the Post Points program using Post Points, they'd have to commit themselves to reading every single paper they publish from here on to infinity times ten. In short, you could probably earn that $25 Visa gift card faster if you sold shoes made from mud or laptops out of pine cones or something. Still, if Rob wants to get an answer to the most pressing question about Post Points, he'll find out who it was that suggested that they be represented in commercials by chatty, animated diaphragms.

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