Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ten Memorable Marketing Stunts



On April 1st, 1996 Taco Bell bought newpaper ads with a picture of the national treasure, The Liberty Bell, announcing that they bought and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” The ad copy read:

“Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’ and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.”

Of course outrage ensued and people not realizing that it was April Fool’s Day, began bombarding Liberty Bell Center and Taco Bell with irate complaints. At about noon, Taco Bell released a statement explaining the prank and the outrage turned to hungry laughter as the media outlets ate it up and Taco Bell experienced a $1.1 Million increase in sales over the next two days.



In January of 2007 promote the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF) movie, Turner Broadcasting hired Interference Inc. to generate buzz. Their plan, dubbed Boston Mission 1 involved planting Lite-Brite like devices bearing the likeness of an ATHF character “Er” in numerous high traffic areas like train stations and overpasses.

At 8:05 AM on January 31st someone noticed the glowing circuit board on an Interstate 93 Bridge support beam and rather than recognizing the obscure sinister cartoon character, they called the police, who brought in the bomb squad, shut down the highway and created hours of gridlock throughout the city.

The stunt sparked world wide media attention but ultimately resulted in several arrests, lawsuits, the resignation of the Cartoon Network GM, the federal Terrorist Hoax Improvements Act of 2007, and hardly a mention of the actual movie in the media.

Bottom Line Vine.

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