We briefly mentioned this a month or so ago.  The City of Grapevine has hired a local marketing firm, ThomasArts, to promote businesses along the DFW Connector.  The theme of the promotion is called Unwind the Vine.  It is kind of a catchy theme meant to unwind the confusion that local construction can create and invite visitors to come and unwind, or relax in Grapevine.

Here is the gist of the marketing campaign.  You get one frequency punch card from any participating restaurant or store.  Then you get a punch or stamp on the card each time you purchase something from a participating local business.  After you fill up the punch card with ten visits or so, you then turn in the card.  The card then goes into a drawing at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon each month.  Lucky winners gets some sort of local prize.

So lets start with the good.  The name is good, Unwind the Vine.  It gets you used to getting around all the local construction.  The idea of promoting local businesses throughout the constructions zones is very good as well.  Even the frequency card idea at its base is good.

Now with the bad.  Our wallet has very limited space in it.  Do we really want to add a frequency card that has no guarantee of rewarding us with anything?  The main problem with this plan is the monthly drawing.  In theory, we could do nothing but eat at participating restaurants, spend thousands of dollars, fill up many multiples of cards and end up with nothing.  That is not so good.

Just as a comparison, we went in to Freebird’s World Burrito in Grapevine last evening.  When paying for the meal the nice cashier asked if we’d like to be a part of their frequent diner plan.  She said, you take their little plastic card, bring it in every time you eat, they swipe it and we earn points toward free meals, t-shirts, and other rewards.  With this plan, we have a guarantee of a reward if we participate and earn enough points.  They did not ask for an email address or anything.

Pretty cool right?  Freebird’s runs a top notch business.  They also have the technology in place to support swipe cards and reward points which is probably an issue the Unwind the Vine plan cannot get around.

We do think the overall idea is good and the promotion is much needed.  Unwind the Vine is catchy and it helps support local businesses which is what we do here all the time.