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Would You Queue For Ten Nights To Be First In Line For Apple’s New iPhone4S?

rob shoesmith

Rob Shoesmith

Up until ten minutes ago I had no idea what I was going to write about today.

Last night I found myself staring at a blank screen desperately wondering what I was going to write.

I am not really angry about anything so that’s out.

I’ve not done anything interesting in the past couple of days so there is no news to report there either.

Then this morning when I was faced with the same blank screen and no inspiration at all, I decided not to write a blog post today…after all if you have nothing useful to say then it is best to say nothing.

So I quit the “Add New Post” screen on my blog and decided to read the newspaper instead.

Then I saw this one sentence in a story about people queuing to ensure they got the new Apple iPhone4S which has just gone on sale this morning:

“Rob Shoesmith, a former binman from Coventry, became the first man with an iPhone 4S at Apple’s Covent Garden store this morning, after queuing for 10 days.”

Amazingly the rest of the article failed to mention Rob again or give any further details of his ten night camping marathon outside London’s Apple Store in upmarket Covent Garden.

So I did some research and found out a bit more about Rob’s story because I just had to find out why he camped outside for ten days…there must be a good story behind this.

I mean I love Apple products and if I could justify the time and money in buying a new phone which I don’t really need (I already have a perfectly good iPhone 4) then I could imagine spending a few hours in line to get hold of this sexy new product. (Yes I really have just described a phone sexy – extra geek points for me no doubt.)

Note that I would queue for a few hours. Overnight…probably not.  48 hours…no way. A week…you got to be kidding. Ten whole days and nights…are you nuts? The phone is not that sexy. I’m sorry but it just isn’t.

At the end of my brief research I had totally changed my mind…now I wished I had been the person with the presence of mind to queue in the cold and rain just like the 29-year-old former refuse collector had done.

experimantal blogger

experimental blogger...Rob Shoesmith dared to be different and it paid off big time for the creative marketing executive.

Was he mad?

Not a bit of it.

Rob is clever…very clever indeed and I just had to come back to my blog so I could tell you all about him.

First off do you think you could hazard a guess at what Rob actually does for a living now?

Well would you be surprised to learn that he markets and promotes iPhone apps?

And by using all of his PR skills he decided the much-anticipated launch of this hot new product was a brilliant opportunity for him to promote Rob Shoesmith (and of course the company he currently works for in the process.)

Rob set up a special blog to promote his ten night marathon, complete with photographs, diary updates, video posts and even live video streaming from time to time.

He also invited companies to donate items  in return for publicity on his blog.

This is how he described the experiment on his iPhone 5 Experiment blog:

“I have a real passion for creative marketing campaigns and PR. A recent surge of inspiration led me to the idea of camping outside an Apple Store for the iPhone 5 and asking companies to help make my wait a luxurious one.”

And the experiment was a resounding success.

Today Rob has got:

  1. the first new iPhone 4S to be sold at London’s Covent Garden Apple Store.
  2. profiles in the UK national press, local newspapers, tech sites, blogs, tv and radio stations.
  3. more than £40,000 ($63,000) worth of freebies including a luxury holiday to Dubai, use of a £20,000 Chevrolet car, designer outdoor clothing and food from top restaurants.
  4. huge amounts of publicity for his company
  5. a reputation as a marketer to be reckoned with
  6. new contacts with literally thousands of companies.

And do you know what is even more remarkable…Rob has only been working full-time  in his new job for three weeks!

He has done something that nobody else thought of doing, put his body and soul into it and now he is reaping the rewards.

Well done Rob, you are an inspiration to us all.

So next time you feel like making excuses for your lack of online success just think what passion, and a creative desire to stand out from the crowd and be different can do for you.

Utterly brilliant.


12 Responses to Would You Queue For Ten Nights To Be First In Line For Apple’s New iPhone4S?

  1. John P. Bell
    October 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I have always enjoyed camping, now to find out i have been wasting my time camping in the woods. Does that new iphone have a campfire app?


    • Patrick Griffin
      October 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

      Clearly urban camping is far more profitable than that old-fashioned ‘back to nature’ stuff you always enjoyed.
      And if the new iPhone does not have a campfire app, I am sure it soon will.
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  2. Marilyn Martin
    October 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi Patrick,

    WOW! This guy spent 10 days camping outside a store just to be one of the 1st ones to have the new iPhone…absolutely amazing! We had someone here in California camping out as well, but I do not think it was for 10 days though. In fact, this guy is from the Netherlands and flew all the way here to get the new iPhone because he writes reviews on them.

    At another store not far from where I live was Steve Wozniak, the man who created Apple with Steve Jobs, years ago. He told the media that he already has 2 phones on order, but he wanted to be 1st in line this morning to get one before the others arrived! lol

    Everyone that camps out at stores for new and popular products when they come out have a reason why they are doing it. Most of the time though it is just because they want to the new shiny toy before everyone. However, the gentleman that you wrote about, Rob, did come up with an awesome idea! He thought outside the box and got a lot of attention not only for himself, but for his company! He is a valuable asset to that company and I hope that they realize just how valuable he truly is! That shows a whole lot of dedication and ingenuity on Rob’s part, and for just starting 3 weeks ago is phenomenal.

    Good for you Rob and I hope that you get the kudos you deserve from your company! Keep up the fantastic job you are doing!


    • Patrick Griffin
      October 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      It is funny that you mention Steve Wozniak joining the queue for a new phone…I read about that this morning and it made me smile.

      I guess the guy from the Netherlands wanted also to get a trip to California out of the deal or he could have saved himself a lot of time and money by taking a two hour flight to London instead! ;)
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  3. Catherine White
    October 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Utterly brilliant, indeed.
    A story like this should get your creative juices flowing.
    Not only did it work to give you a blog post for today,
    now I have some new ideas for marketing.
    Thanks for sharing the story, Patrick.
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    • Patrick Griffin
      October 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      Please don’t tell me you plan to set up camp outside TimTech HQ to demand extra nerd points.
      Hang on…that just might work… ;)
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  4. Sergio Felix
    October 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    That guy’s definitely a trooper.

    I don’t think I’d have the nerve to do urban camping, much less to wait DAYS on the street in order to buy a digital device but we are what we are, individuals!

    The only time when I was standing in line for hours, was when I wanted to get inside a Metallica concert in “Foro Sol” at Mexico City and I still do NOT regret doing so.

    Obviously we shouldn’t confuse that some people will perform public stunts for mere publicity while others would perform any crazy stunt for their own personal reasons, not even being interested if their stunt gets noticed and viral for the world to see.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t mind getting all his extra bonuses and offers but then again, it’s not even strange is it?

    I mean, that was what he was going for in the first place, or not?

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    • Patrick Griffin
      October 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Well if Wikipedia is to be believed I guess you saw Metallica in June 2009.
      I wonder if you have the concert video “Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria: Tres Noches en la Ciudad de México.” :)
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  5. Sergio Felix
    October 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm #


    You never cease to amaze me with all your researching nature!

    You’re absolute right in fact, I went to Mexico City for two reasons, the Metallica Concert and to check out the best music school in Latinoamerica, which is “Academia de Música Fermatta”.

    After the concert, I came back to Culiacan, only to decide I wanted to pursue my music career as a performance artist with Electric Guitar in Contemporary Music (Rock, Jazz, Blues, Pop, etc).

    I was struggling trying to go to Musician’s Institute (MI) at Hollywood, California where my drummer took a course but for some reasons ($$$) I just couldn’t do it so I decided to go to Fermatta instead.

    Sadly for me, that ended up nowhere and after about 10 years of knocking doors, I decided to quit.

    The story is very, very long but I will definitely write all about it on my blog.

    It is one of those big to-do’s I have planned for my site.

    About the recording of the Metallica concert, I wasn’t even aware they had a product out about it. I remember listening to the concert on the radio one day after, and it was so loud you could literally not even hear the vocals because we were all singing our lungs out in the public.

    Monster Magnet opened, I didn’t even cared for them, Pantera followed (I actually got a “Hi five” from Dimebag Darrel R.I.P.) and then Metallica closed.

    I’ve seen a lot of metal and rock bands live including, Megadeth, Angra, Dream Theater and many others, and honestly, nothing compares to just that concert.

    Will definitely look out for the DVD, so thanks for your research man!


    PS. Sorry to write such a long comment, I wanted to answer accordingly!
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    • Patrick Griffin
      October 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      Hey Sergio,

      You don’t need to apologize for a long comment – especially if it is full of interesting information.

      I am sure the full story is very interesting so I look forward to hearing about that in the future.

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  6. Rob
    October 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks for the compliment Patrick! Just got home! Totally exhausted! Made
    More contacts in a week than 2 years! Was a mental battle to keep going!

    Very very tough but I kept going!

    Nearly passed out when ingot home
    But wow that was so much fun and lots off emails are flooding in!

    Happy days