Seamless emailed out a discount for 15% off your order tonight as a co-marketing plan with HBO’s GIRLS.

The partnership is win/win (similar to the Lays / Netflix co-promo I suggested in a past post):

Seamless, which has 15% discounts on the reg, gets a theme for its discount. Seamless also gets to promote its service with a suggested use (watching GIRLS), and likely gets some sort of payment from HBO.

As opposed to typical “watch our premier” ads, HBO gets to market GIRLs with a friendly discount that consumers actually want to open.

The promotion is reinforcing – If I’m already planning to order Seamless for dinner, I might as well watch GIRLS. If I’m watching GIRLS, why wouldn’t I get Seamless?

Seamless Discount

But then went down.  It’s kind of embarrassing that I spent more time being frustrated over the site than it would have taken to walk down the street and buy something. I ended up using GrubHub (Seamless’s sister company) instead. If Seamless and Grubhub weren’t one company, this could have caused some serious damage to both the brand and its userbase.

However, the Seamless social media team is doing a decent job turning this into a branding opportunity by responding in real time to consumers and apologizing, even keeping their signature brand voice despite an onslaught of angry tweets.

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What does this mean for the players?

GIRLS doesn’t have it too bad, as they’re getting more press off the whole deal (and probably can now save on any discounts they were sponsoring). ‘

Seamless might lose a few customers, but they’ll pick them back up with a bona fide discount and beefed up server (hopefully next week if they can manage). Even as this trends over twitter – I can’t imagine the effect is huge. Sure, some customers will order from competitors and potentially order from them again. But the speed of media trends makes me wary that this will have long term impact for Seamless.