PokerShare.com free petrol
Over US Memorial Day 2006, with gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon, PokerShare.com and its newly launched CasinoShare.com gave away more than 8,000 gallons of petrol to hundreds of New Yorkers.
In a long, snaking line of traffic, New Yorkers lined up to receive $40 of free gas while free food was distributed and music blared.
What happened next:
Before the morning rush hour had ended, the New York City Police Department shut down the stunt because the lines were wrecking havoc with traffic flow. Many people, including off-duty police officers and government officials, left empty-handed.
But PokerShare.com and CasinoShare.com could hardly call their efforts a failure. The free gas stunt, conceived by Popular Culture PR, was popular enough to be held again in Los Angeles several weeks later.
Generosity is a selling point in a marketing stunt, but you have to tap into human nature and, if possible, current events. If the same company had given away $40 in PokerShare.com gift certificates, it's likely the media wouldn't even have noticed since coupon giveaways aren't exactly a breaking news item.
And if PokerShare had handed out $40 in cash to just anybody on the street, they might have warranted a story from some local media outlet but, save a mugging or mobs, probably not generated a mention on the national evening news.
But free gas when the headlines these days are all about the rising price of gas? This marketing gimmick wasn't just covered by the evening news, but also by Fox News, The New York Times, the Washington Post and other media outlets, reaching more than 9 million people
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