For obscure products with small or nonexistent ad budgets, the artichoke flap marks the arrival of a potent marketing ploy. As you may already know, one of Peps" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

The Insult as Windfall



For obscure products with small or nonexistent ad budgets, the artichoke flap marks the arrival of a potent marketing ploy. As you may already know, one of Peps

Quick to see the situation’s potential as a quirky news item from which all parties could benefit, Pepsi made its peace with the growers and last week unveiled the Pepsi Artichoke Patch at the Garden for the Environment at the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners. (As part of the deeply moving ceremony, the 1992 Castroville Artichoke Festival Queen presented Pepsi officials with cuttings of the plant.) And Pepsi put its public-relations machinery into action, sending out a press kit about the whole affair. The lesson: For the low-budget advertiser, a careless insult at the hands of a mega-marketer like Pepsi can be transformed into millions of dollars worth of positive press. Think of it as the marketing world’s equivalent of Joe Blow getting run into (but not permanently mangled) by a millionaire’s limousine. In each case, the initial pain is amply repaid by the resulting windfall. All that’s needed now is for some entrepreneur to set up a commercial-insult monitoring service so small companies (and trade groups, cities, etc.) can be alerted to their opportunities.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)