Coors light Canada learned a lesson in viral marketing the hard way. I’m sure you’re used to seeing all of the viral marketing campaigns that many companies use to promote their brand/product. Viral marketing can be hugely successful. However here’s the thing with viral marketing: you can’t always control the way that the campaign will unfold. And sometimes that can be a good thing. After all, they are viral. However, as Coors light Canada found out recently, the way in which you intend to promote an event isn’t necessarily how things will unfold.
The summer campaign, dubbed “Search and Rescue”, consisted of Coors light Canada placing 880 briefcases with prizes inside hidden across Canada.
How Not to Promote an Event
Seriously? Briefcases hidden? What could possibly go wrong with that?
Well, as Coors light Canada found out, their promotion ended up closing a major Toronto intersection during rush hour. You see, people thought an abandoned briefcase could be trouble. So they called the police. And, using caution, the police brought in the bomb squad to investigate.
Coors light Canada was quick on defusing (pun intended) the situation and took to Twitter to offer their apologies for any disruption that their Search and Rescue promotion may have caused. Not surprisingly they also issued a final tweet regarding the promotion as follows:
Now perhaps there’s a summer intern somewhere in Canada that has learned a very valuable lesson on viral marketing and how not to promote an event. PT Barnum of Barnum & Bailey’s had a saying: there is no such thing as bad press. However in this case I’m not so sure that this was the best way to promote a summer program. Hiding prizes around a city can be very successful marketing programs. It’s the use of briefcases that really makes you wonder here. About PT Barnum’s thoughts on bad press: well we are talking about Coors light here aren’t we?