Before you ask: yes, that is a model wearing a poncho and riding a donkey through Times Square in October.
But you would never guess that the scene was part of a stunt to promote a company that specializes in deliverable ponchos, would you?
The two Los Angeles residents who founded Señor Tyrone in order to bring “multi-wear, unisex ponchos” to Laurel Canyonites also happen to the be the principals of the agency tasked with promoting the brand. The company got coverage after an early 2013 launch due to its status as “the world’s first instant Twitter delivery service“—fans in the area could simply tweet the hashtag #ponchoexpress to the Senor Tyrone feed and one of the company’s “Tyronistas” would deliver a selection of said ponchos to their location free of charge.
Cindy Capobianco of Capobianco & Associates PR explained the challenges of bringing the company she founded to New York:
In the six months since the launch of the Poncho Express in Los Angeles, a number of instant and same-day delivery services have popped-up ranging from Amazon and Ebay to Kate Spade. So for New York we needed to do something different. Naturally we thought, we need to shoot a Tyronista on a Donkey in the middle of Times Square. The permitting to do this was very daunting.
We think the photo had a lot to do with it. It’s a great lo-fi idea…having a key image that is fun and a little absurd helps crystalize the concept.
We’d never heard of the company before the pitch, but we have to agree that this photo says more than any copy block could. And Capobianco says that “The average daily visitor rate spiked more than one hundred times when the program went viral.”
We might say they put their asses on the line to successfully test the theory that quirk works.
(Apologies for the inexcusable pun. We will now slink away in shame.)