Travel storytelling and discovery app Tripl just executed a genius guerilla marketing idea: handing out fake parking tickets at Y Combinator’s demo day that promo the company’s app — and investor-readiness.
Tripl tells you where your friends and family are going by connecting to your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social media accounts and then combining their travels and memories into a gorgeous daily package. The company recently released an iPhone and iPad app to accompany its web app.
The obvious appeal of demo day: angels, VCs, and press gathered in droves yesterday to see 2-minute pitches from 84 of the latest companies hatching out of Paul Graham’s startup incubator.
The “parking ticket” invites surprised recipients to “avoid penalty” by taking a trip with Tripl, and then it explains what the service is. A QR code enables an immediate download of the app, and the blurb includes an investor-friendly update on traction: Tripl has “served 750,000 trips to 20,000 users in just five weeks.”
Some of the gathered investors might start to “pay the ticket” by downloading the app or contacting Tripl. The company has already taken at least $600,000 in investment, but a little more never hurts a growing startup.
A few comments on Hacker News — sort of a Y Combinator mini-Reddit — are a little dubious, speculating that recipients would find it annoying and not dissimilar to junk mail. I suspect, however, they are simply kicking themselves for not thinking of the idea themselves.
Even without additional investment, however, I’m sure that Tripl is happy with the free PR.
Image credit: pjsullivan3/Instagram