Wednesday, April 4

Pushing Publicity: Thorntons

Most people who visit now and again know how I feel about publicity, particularly the erroneous idea that all publicity is good publicity. However, that is not to say that I think all publicity is bad.

If you are wondering what constitutes good publicity, look no further than Thortons in London. Yesterday, this British chocolate company unveiled an 860-pound (390 kg) pure chocolate billboard. In fact, it was the world's first edible chocolate billboard, measuring 14.5 feet by 9.5 feet. For more photos courtesy of the BBC, please visit the source site at yumsugar.

This single, simple, and fun publicity stunt is very strategic in approach and execution. The message is smart, "The Art of the Chocolatier," reinforced by the image, activity, and execution of something no one else has done.

All the shots even feature one of its biggest target audiences and the timing, a few days before Easter, is pretty hard to beat. It's smart, fresh, new, and no one was harmed in the making (or unmaking) of what has become a global advertisement. Not bad for a 3-month investment plus 300 hours to assemble.

It's also an amazingly tasty contrast to some of the other publicity stunts we've covered here — ranging from selling stocks with fear to bomb scares in Boston to endless antics from CEOs trying to wade the sometimes murky waters of social media. For all of the their dark side efforts, none of them come close. You don't have to take my word for it. Just ask one of the 50 girls from the Brownies who were commissioned to eat it up.

Special thanks to Hank Hope at R&R Partners for the e-mail tip. It will certainly come in handy next week when I discuss the difference between good publicity and not-so-good publicity. (Yes, that would be a good hint for some). You made my day and I'm hopeful this post will pay it forward.




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