In today’s busy world, it’s tougher than ever for companies to get their names out there and sell their products to consumers. But advertising and marketing campaigns aren’t just about who has the most money but rather who is the most clever. From Oprah Winfrey’s free-car giveaway to a bomb scare for a cartoon show, we’ve rounded up some of the wildest things companies have done to reach new customers and find new markets. Some rocked and some tanked but all are legendary in their own rights for their creativity and ingenuity. Find out some of the tactics used in this list of 25 Creative Company Marketing Campaigns With Epic Results.
Red Bull Marketing Campaign Featured image by Benoit DUCHATELET via Flickr CC2.0
You get a car! You get a car!
Oprah Winfrey’s free car giveaway on her talk-show has become a legendary example of marketing – for carmaker General Motors but especially for Oprah. Oprah’s rating surged due to the publicity but General Motors’ tanked after the winners in her studio audience heard they would have to pay $7,000 tax on each of the Pontiacs they won. After a slurry of negative publicity, Pontiac reversed course and covered the state sales tax.
Enticing would-be customers with beer has long been a tactic for companies to boost business. The Cleveland Indians baseball team gave it a shot in 1974 with a 10-cent-beer-night. The promotion tripled attendance but resulted in some less-than-desirable outcomes, including a riot, attacks on players and fans, and destruction to the stadium.
Burning up the disco
Similarly, the Chicago White Sox ran a promotion in 1979 during a double-header entitled “Disco Demolition Night”. The team encouraged fans to bring in vinyl records they were willing to part with – to be blown up. Fifteen times more fans showed up (partly lured by the 98-cent entrance fee with their record), even scrambling over the walls to get in. The records were detonated after the first game and pandemonium ensued – fans rioted, the batting cages and bases were torn asunder, and riot police had to break up the deranged masses.
The Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese
As online casinos are legally prevented from advertising in traditional media sources, GoldenPalace.com got crafty with its marketing strategy. In 2004, the online casino bought the famous part-eaten grilled cheese sandwich which seemed to feature an image of the Virgin Mary. The price for a part-eaten grilled cheese? $28,000.
Breaking the sound barrier
Now infamous, Red Bull sponsored parachutist Felix Baumgartner on a free fall. Red Bull is known for sponsoring extreme sports and this one was made more extreme as Baumgartner jumped out of a plane at 23 miles (37 km) up – in the Earth’s stratosphere. This jump clinched Baumgartner the record for being the first person to break the sound barrier (without using a machine).