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Posts Tagged ‘stunts’

Yes, Groupon Trolled Everyone with Its ‘Alexander Hamilton’ President’s Day Campaign


To the many, many media outlets that covered Groupon‘s Friday press release announcing its decision to run a President’s Day campaign honoring “former President” Alexander Hamilton and “wondered” whether it was all a joke:

  • Are you perhaps not familiar with this company and its signature promotional style?
  • Was your question even more disingenuous than the press release that inspired it?

The deal, created to “honor” the non-president by giving customers a Hamilton ($10) off each order of $40 or more at local businesses, should have been good enough on its own—but of course Groupon had to get as much attention as possible…

We’re still a little surprised that anyone questioned whether this was a serious campaign, given the overly earnest (red flag) language in the press release.

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This California Crop Circle Is Your New Favorite Marketing Stunt

In case you haven’t broken out that Led Zeppelin CD box set recently, here is an especially groovy crop circle (pic via these dudes):


And here’s Jen Hsung Huang, CEO of software maker Nvidia, explaining how his company’s marketing team created its own crop circle in a clever ploy for attention—and a certain dorky reporter discovered the secret message within:

It’s basically an opening shot to win the company a little attention ahead of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, and we’d say it worked.

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Coca-Cola Just Made a Park Somewhere in Europe

Coca-Cola‘s “part of a healthy lifestyle” spin isn’t gaining much traction. But it’s hard to argue against feel-good stunts like this one, in which the kings of sugar water set up a makeshift park to shine some light on an anonymously dreary Eastern European city. The little sponsored party promotes happiness through reckless activities like shoeless frisbee, no-rules soccer and the rampant blowing of bubbles. Also: t-shirts grow on trees, but attendees must bring their own picnic baskets.

It’s like Occupy Wall Street with better funding and an even less focused message.

Will Coke be setting up a patch of grass complete with solitary sapling in your hometown? Don’t count on it: securing the permits would be a nightmare.

BuzzFeed’s Favorite Marketing ‘Bot’ Account Is a Weird Product Launch Stunt

In case you spend even more time trolling blogs and Twitter feeds than we do, you’ve probably heard of horse_ebooks. Here are prime examples of the feed at work, posted over the past week:

You get the idea. It appeared to be the perfect encapsulation of all the things we love/hate about Twitter and social in general: unintentionally hilarious snippets of automated spam copy promoting random self-published ebooks and posted without so much as a thought toward order or logic.

Many wondered over time how such a beautiful thing came to be. But, as revealed this morning in The New Yorker (of all places) by acclaimed novelist Susan Orlean (of all people), horse_ebooks is no bot—it’s BuzzFeed creative director Jacob Bakkila and partner Thomas Bender, who worked there “until about a year ago.”

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Adventures in Marketing: ‘The Titanic II’

OK, a couple of questions between friends: Do you have a lot of money lying around, ready to be wasted on an exotic “experience”? Does the prospect of life on Mars seem a little too far-fetched for you? Do you have a healthy sense of fatalism and/or a creepy obsession with Leonardo DiCaprio?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you’re in luck: today some random billionaire named Clive Palmer announced his plans to create an identical working replica of the world’s most famously doomed ship–the Titanic. And it will be ready to set sail by 2016!

Yes, it’s true: The boat, which will be made in China (of course), will weigh more than 55,000 tons, include space for 2,435 passengers and 900 (poorly paid) crew members, and stand as one of the more ridiculous PR stunts in recent memory. But Palmer insists that it will be a “real financial bonanza” that will be so successful that he’ll soon have to work on a third! We’ll see about that…

Say, did anybody notice that this guy is a year too late? Did he miss James Cameron’s imminently punchable face reminding us that 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster? More importantly, does he not hate Celine Dion as much as we do?

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Stunts: ‘PR Bounty’ Media Placement Contest

We’d never heard of the Pine Brothers “softish” throat lozenge company before today, but they definitely have some…unconventional promo ideas.

Companies usually contact PR firms before designing a strategy, but Pine Brothers’ CEO Victoria Knight-McDowell (best known for creating the popular Airborne “immune support supplements”) decided to completely skip the usual way of doing things… by turning the whole deal into a contest.

The “PR Bounty” stunt works like this: any individual (professional or otherwise) who manages to place a feature story on Pine Brothers in one of its CEO’s preferred publications will get paid—after the story runs. It’s not just print media, either: anyone savvy enough to score a full segment on Anderson, Dr. Phil or The View or other talk shows will earn a cool $25,000!

This isn’t the first unusual stunt from Pine Brothers, by the way: they recently offered free lozenges to professional opera singers. We were curious to learn more about their latest plan, so we communicated via email with Rider McDowell,  company chairman and husband of Victoria.

Keep reading–it’s worth it:

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MSNBC Overhypes Daredevil Stunt

We were all impressed by daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s weekend free-fall stunt. We have no idea how it would feel to plummet to the earth from such an incredible height (and our vertigo ensures that we will never find out), but this on-board camera view of the entire globe shot from Baumgartner’s perspective is undeniably amazing. Yeah, we know you’ve already seen it, but it’s really worth watching a second or third time:

We’d say it was fairly difficult to overstate how impressive this event turned out to be. MSNBC, however, just couldn’t help but exaggerate things a bit:

We can’t really hold such an innocent slip-up against MSNBC–everybody makes mistakes, right? But we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone how important basic fact-checking and copy review duties can be. Make sure to thank your editor today if you have one.