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"The King" Walks in with Floyd Mayweather; Generating Buzz for their Brand

“The Fight of the Century” it was dubbed. Arguably the two greatest boxers of the modern era, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, faced off in what would turn to be one of the largest PPV events of all time (grossing more than $300 million). Now the fight might have been a little bit of a let down, but there was plenty to talk about after the judges had returned their decisions.

PPV events are unique in that standard cable packages don’t carry the event, and spectators have to pay to watch (or have friends that bought it). Commercials are limited, and the main form of advertising comes in sponsorship – on the fighters garb and placed on and around the ring. In an event that more than 11 million people watched, advertisers struggled in getting an invite to the big dance.

One company rose above the challenge and truly shined – Burger King. “The King” is BK’s official mascot. He stars in their advertisements, there are cardboard cutouts of him at every location, and on Saturday night he walked in behind Floyd Mayweather and Justin Bieber. That’s some serious star power, and “The King” certainly stood out – even nestled behind Floyd’s awful jacket (or maybe I just don’t understand fashion).

The public relations stunt didn’t come cheap. Darren Rovell, an ESPN analyst, estimated the walk out cost BK somewhere in the market of $1 million. That’s a lot of money to put yourself in the background of the screen for just a few fleeting seconds. The real value of the ad comes in the replays of the walk out on news channels, generating buzz and shares on social media, and mentions on blogs across the country.

The lessons to take away from this: there’s more than one-way to reach your audience, don’t limit yourself to the constraints of traditional media. By taking advantage of the numerous modern media channels (like social media) you can bring home a big win. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have some money to spend either.

There are numerous forms of non-traditional marketing but some of the more common forms are internet advertising, passing out swag (keychains, hats, cups), and in this case guerrilla marketing. Good guerrilla marketing requires thinking well outside the box, which is easier said than done. Like guerrilla warfare, the intent is to impact your audience well beyond your financial capabilities, generating buzz and word of mouth exposure for your brand. It’s not easy to do, but when it goes right, it can do wonders for your brand.

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