It might not be as hard as you might think to get media interested in your company. What you do is that you make an unexpected approach to something famous. Either you comment something famous and make an unexpected approach with your comment, or you make an unexpected suggestion. Media just loves the unexpected.
For instance, Dr Pepper did just that a few days ago. They told the media that they will give a free can of Dr Pepper to “everyone in America” (excluding ex-Guns members Slash and Buckethead) if “Guns N’ Roses will release their long awaited album Chinese Democracy” anytime during the calendar year 2008.
But is this press release just Dr Pepper tired of waiting for Chinese Democracy or is it all about marketing? I know that they have stated an undying fondness for Guns N’ Roses, but I am not so sure…
What I am sure about is that the news has traveled all across the Internet and back. Dr Pepper really got some attention from their press release, and all this attention without spending a dime. Well, they probably did spend a few bucks on the press release and the marketing campaign… because this has to be a marketing campaign by Ketchum the PR Agency of Dr Pepper.
The thing about this marketing trick from Dr Pepper (yes, I am calling it a marketing trick), is that they will get a lot of attention in the media, and we all know that there won’t be a Chinese Democracy this year (I really hope that I am wrong), and we also know that Axl Rose and the rest of guys of Guns N’ Roses won’t release it because they want everone in America to have a free Dr Pepper. This is art we are talking about, and usually people involved in any kind of art won’t listen to anybody but themselves when it comes to the creative process and when to finish a project. We all know that right?
So, in my opinion this is a marketing trick and a great one. The reason it’s great is because it involves a great band (one of the most famous bands in the world, even though just Axl Rose is left from the original members), and it involves something a lot of people have been waiting on (forever), and it involves the unexpected.
Who would have expected that everyone in America would get a free can of Dr Pepper if Guns N’ Roses will release Chinese Democracy during 2008? This is why all sorts of media will write about this press release. Even Axl Rose commented it on their official site.
It’s a great move by Ketchum and Dr Pepper, it’s probably as much marketing a company could get for “free”. But would this kind of marketing help a rather unknown company?
We all know about Dr Pepper, they are huge. What if the same press release came from a completely unknown and local company somewhere in the US. Would media be all over it and would Axl Rose comment it? I am not so sure.
The reason I am not so sure, is that it would probably be a lot easier to spot the marketing trick. First of all, it will be very expensive to give away a free can to everyone in America, not all companies can afford that. And a large company as Dr Pepper is a company most people trust.
How everyone in America will get their free can of Dr Pepper, well, that will be interesting… but I really doubt that it will ever happen (but again, I really really hope that I am wrong… I am looking forward to Chinese Democracy). But I guess Dr Pepper have accomplished more than they could ever dream about when it comes to this marketing campaign, even Norwegian newspapers have written about it.
An interesting approach to marketing and a lesson on how to write a press release. Do the unexpected and surprise everybody, including the media. Your offer can’t be too good to be true, but almost…