BP must think millennials can’t go more than mere seconds without a digital screen in front of their faces without being bored. That’s a tremendously fair point of reasoning. However, to use that notion as the basis for creating a social media interactive gas pump with a personality – called Miles – is so absurd and foolish. To put that in the parlance in which BP wants fluency, “#lame.”
Miles, the socially-savvy gas pump, will allow people to record video e-cards, play music trivia, or choose songs from Pandora to listen to. Precisely how long does it take to get gas at a BP pump that they believe you’ll have the ability to do any of these things? Currently, the Miles pumps are in beta testing in Brooklyn and Chicago, and an intrepid reporter from the Windy City went to interact with one. The pre-programmed banter was, as you’d expect, dumb.
"I'm going to play some of your favorite tracks while you fill up," Miles told a Chicago Tribune reporter. "I'd be dancing if I could, but, well, I'm a pump."
You can choose to not to interact, opting instead for the sweet sounds of silence, as you’ve done at a gas pump every fill up until now, and a BP executive is quoted in that Tribune piece acknowledging that this isn’t for everyone. But if it is a play at the socially-inclined millennial crowd, they’re the first to eviscerate corporate plays aimed directly at them, so it’ll be interesting to see if this catches on.
The pumps, open now through February 14th, 2017, were created in partnership with Pandora and The Onion, oddly enough. After a customer uses Miles when filling up, they can get a post-transaction text offering a 25-cent per gallon discount for a return trip to any BP station. Why can’t BP just offer that discount to everyone?
Want to try an interactive pump for yourself? Head to one of these following locations:
750 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL, 60610
901 N. Washington Street, Naperville, IL 60563
164 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217
802 65th Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11220