Thursday, October 23, 2008

Giving it all away

If for any reason you are short on dough and want some freebie food and drink, there's nothing like using PR stunts to fill the old belly.

I'm not guaranteeing you any high nutrition value, but for pure press mileage, these two massive giveaway stunts in one week are better than 1,000 lined-up Mini-Coopers at the Sunoco station.

Credit Ben & Jerry's for giving away free ice cream cones on Earth Day years ago to pioneering this stunt. Every year, the kids in my neighborhood show up like clockwork to get their gratis cones.

I love when people think big with their PR stunts. It doesn't happen enough or the concept just doesn't jump out of the gate (NYC subway musicians performing songs from the new Oasis album on the day it's released?).

Taco Bell gives a free taco away to America for every stolen base... love it! Dr. Pepper makes good on giving away a free can if Guns 'n' Roses ever delivers their Chinese Democracy album... suspicious, but I'll take it!

In AdAge.com, Taco Bell says last year's promotion generated 900 stories and 234 million total media impressions. I wonder how much traffic is pouring in to www.stealabasestealataco.com since last night's game? Regarding the 17-year-wait for the Chinese Democracy album, Dr. Pepper's vp of marketing issued this statement: "We thought this day would never come. But now that it's here, all we can say is: The Dr. Pepper's on us." Hmmm. Doesn't sound too shocked to me, but hey, if it's free soft drinks for everybody, bring it on! We can feed the homeless with this idea!

If other companies see the branding successes of this concept, perhaps they'll start their own nationwide giveaways. Hey Apple! Didn't you promise a new iPod Nano to every American if David Lee Roth ever got back together with Van Halen?

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