Thursday, August 9, 2012

The ingenious Great Vibrator Giveaway

Give credit to Trojan for pulling off the best public relations stunt of the summer.

According to the New York Times, the cost of giving away 10,000 vibrators from from two Manhattan "pleasure" carts would be $350,000, and that's in retail value.

In the "winky wink" media world we live in, announcing you are giving away free vibrators in the New York Times is like catnip to the press: massive joke coverage spread virally on Tuesday because, hey, we need a good randy topic to blog about in the middle of the summer. A site like Gawker could not resist.

I've always said that one of the best kinds of PR stunts is getting a long public line to form, and in this, Trojan succeeded. On Wednesday, fueled by all the buzz generated from Monday's article, both carts had huge winding lines of people of all ages waiting to pick up their free goody. No question that would give Trojan another wave of press coverage that would far exceed the cost of this stunt, such as this from ABC News and Huffington Post.

However, whether Trojan's marketers anticipated this or not, the New York Police Department arrived on the scene closing down the carts, claiming they needed city permits and the crowd had grown too large. The press, who were already there covering the event, pounced on this golden opportunity, raising the event coverage into the stratosphere -- it was the front page of today's New York Post.

The New York Post even posted a video to go with the bust.

Trojan's marketing department and whoever dreamed up this stunt should be given bonuses for a stunt that gave exceedingly far more value than it cost.