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By Stephanie Kirschner

In the world of stunt marketing campaigns, timing has always been key and brands who were able to launch a campaign around a major calendar event got coverage. Just consider, back in 2012, Nestle made major waves by giving Bostoners a mountain of Butterfingers as a ‘consolation’ after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl.  Similarly, in 2013, WestJet set a new bar for Christmas campagins with their ad about real-time holiday gifting.

April Fools’ Day has recently become the hot time of year for big branding campaigns from companies, including one just this year’s holiday from our client, SodaStream: the launch of Paris Hilton’s faux sparkling water brand, NanoDrop.

Amidst such a cluttered landscape, how does a brand ensure they see an ROI from a marketing campaign? Perhaps, it is finding a new
calendar tie in:

On May 5, 2017 – KFC announced the launch of its first ever book: The Col Sanders romance novella for mom to enjoy. Random? Perhaps – but less so with the context that KFC sees yearly sales spike of 40 percent on Mother’s Day.

Alternatively, does a stunt marketing campaign need a calendar tie-in to be successful?

Two days before KFC’s romance novella, McDonald’s teamed up with infomercial pitchman Anthony “Sully” Sullivan, to unveil the “Frork” – a fork made of fries to mop up sauce and premium toppings that drip off the user’s sandwich or burger.

While the Frork’s reviews aren’t all raves, it is getting media coverage.

The marketing take away: as more brands embrace disruptive campaigns, those that stand out from the pack are the ones that get attention. The caveat? With disruption, comes potential criticism, so be ready to take it and back up your creative choices.

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