Note: This Event was part of my “Secret Experimental Event Series” for Big Weekend Calendars and The Austin Events Wall Calendar. You can read more about the event series in this post.
Where The Idea Came From
Years ago, in the early days of my calendar company, I held some release parties. They were really just excuses do do whatever weird stuff I’d dream up.
New to marketing I decided to just copy what everyone else was doing. At least copy the parts that I could afford: Coozies.
If you’ve every purchased coozies (sometimes foolishly called koozies or coolies) for a marketing effort, you know they are very, very cheap. Insanely cheap. Like, if you want save money on toilet paper you can just by 500 coozies. That kind of cheap.
Here’s another thing you know if you’ve bought coozies for a marketing event: everybody already has plenty of coozies. Nobody wants yours.
Not only do people not want any more coozies they don’t even want most of the ones they already have.
So the idea came to me: Instead of having yet another Austin event where we give away coozies, let’s have an event where we take them all back.
I expected no less than a couple hundred thousand people to show up.
The Event Listing
Below is the event description as posted to the public.
Coozie Turn-In Program
Everywhere you go, someone gives you a coozie. Jeez. If you come to our event, we will take your extra coozies from you. You’re welcome.
Things to know:
- This is for real.
- Take-back limit is 5 per person.
- Please, marketers, don’t come with your big bag of coozies no one wanted. You got to deal with that on your own.
Making It Happen
I had the concept. Now I had to figure out what I was going to do with all those coozies people dropped off. Surely it would be as easy as taking them to the recycling center?
It turns out the most prevalent fabric on earth, coozie skin, is very hard to recycle. I found one site online that recycled wetsuits (also made of coozie skin). But you have to pay to mail it to them. Depending on what the coozie skin type is, some mattress recyclers will take them but it was unclear on where I could go in Austin for this.
It was going to take some work to figure this out and I might even have to sort the hundreds of thousands of coozies I was expecting.
But then a friend and I were brainstorming ideas around what the Santaur event could be. One of the ideas was that Santaur could give out candy. Then my friend said, “just have Santaur give out all the coozies you collected”.
While technically this idea is probably ok to call “recycling” it seemed more like a shell game. Oh well. We just needed to make sure we got a couple hundred thousand people to the Santuar show so that we wouldn’t have to deal with any leftover coozies.
Sadly, this event was shelved because I had overcommitted myself to events, the cornhole event had gotten way out of hand (and budget) and the stores wer having some merchandising issues that I was constantly having to take care of. I was going to do the event in 2020, but well, pandemic. I hope we can do this sometime in the future.