3 Over-the-Top Marketing Stunts (That Worked)
BY Laura Entis
Because there is no such thing as bad publicity, right? Recently, three companies have taken stunt marketing to the next level.
Is it just us or does it feel like some companies are giving new meaning to the phrase "stunt marketing" lately?
Within the last week, Andreessen Horowitz, Vice Media, and SugarDaddie have launched headline-grabbing marketing ploys, and while the effectiveness of each stunt is up for debate, at the very least, all three will make you pause and think.
Andreessen Horowitz puts its money where its mouth is. Famed VC's Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz just used RapGenius, a website that allows users to decipher rap-lyrics and also (ahem) one of their portfolio companies, to analyze the significance behind each line of ex-Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s amazing "I got fired" memo.
Just so happens, the VC firm dropped $15 million into RapGenius last fall and has been vocal about the site's use beyond just decoding rap lyrics--Mason's note, case in point.
Vice Media, Dennis Rodman, and Kim Jong-un--oh my! Vice recently partnered with HBO to produce a video series centered on a show-case basketball game with a few Harlem Globetrotters and former NBA legend Dennis Rodman in North Korea.
But when North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un showed up to the exhibition game, it became an international incident. Photos show Jong-un buddying it up with Rodman. (Apparently, in Rodman’s first interview upon returning to the States, he called Kim Jong-un “a great guy.”)
In marketing terms, the stunt is a win: people are buzzing about the series, which will inevitably air footage of the game on April 5th.
Dating site tries to buy a town's name. SugarDaddie.com (company tag-line reads: “Where the classy, attractive, and affluent meet”) has propositioned the wealthy, suburban town of Woodside, CA: $11.65 million in exchange for a 10-year commitment to change its name to... SugarDaddie.com.
Other outrageous parts of the offer: “All official government correspondence, selected institutions and street signs changed to reflect the new name” and “a statue near Town Hall must be built of Hugh Hefner or another public figure who best represents the sugar-daddy lifestyle."
While the changes that Woodside taking the offer are slim to none, SugarDaddie's stunt has at least earned them a few headlines.
But the stunt is apparently far from over.
“If we can’t get a favorable outcome with the folks in Woodside, California, we’re looking at cities like Sugar Hill, Colorado, and others,” Steven Pasternack, CEO of SugarDaddie.com, told NBC News.