Why would 10,000 people want an umbrella that didn’t work in the rain?

Purple Rain WiFi umbrella
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10,000 people considered a WiFi enabled umbrella you couldn’t use in the rain just to stay connected to WiFi. Purple Rain was a phantom product introduced by the global leader of WiFi analytics, Purple, as part of a Black Friday experiment last November.

The not really patented Connected Canopy – or “Connopy” technology as it was dubbed, was misquoted as: “Both wildly smart and supremely versatile in the ways in which it can be used, the Purple Rain device a much needed and long-overdue upgrade to the traditional umbrella” by TechSmart.

The catch, clearly stated, with Purple Rain’s Connopy technology: “Purple Rain should not be used in precipitous conditions”.

Absence of the primary function of umbrellas didn’t stop one in every ten visitors across 24 hours to leave their details enquiring further about the sartorial device. We think the sing-a-long slogan, “Everywhere you go, always take your WiFi with you” also had significant sway in the final enquiry of 1,000 people.

Purple Rain started to appear in Fashion & Gear, Product and Tech categories from a briefly viral pick-up as consumers jumped on the craze for an umbrella you couldn’t use in the rain, which for a predominately UK enquiry base was ironic.

It’s a clear indication of the miles people will travel with a 42 inch umbrella if it means there will be a strong connection in the end making the baggage bearable.

Purple Rain is the second viral stunt following a clause last year in July where 22,000 WiFi users agreed to 1,000 hours of community service to clean toilets, scrape chewing gum off seats and hug stray cats and dogs for free WiFi. Don’t worry, we didn’t go rounding up the 22,000 individuals to don their rubber gloves.

The real reason behind our initial experiment was to highlight the lack of consumer awareness when signing up to use free guest WiFi. This time, we drew on Black Friday madness to highlight the lengths people would go to for good connectivity on the go with a phantom product.

Commenting on Purple Rain, Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple, said: “We are entering the Zettabyte era where the annual global IP traffic is expected to reach 3.3 ZB per year by 2021. Not only is it inevitable WiFi will need to take more of the strain, it’s clear individuals are actively looking for devices that will keep them connected to a good signal – even if it means a WiFi umbrella that wouldn’t work in the rain.”

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