Tis the season

It’s that time of year again where companies pull out all the stops to shine up their image and get some free publicity. It’s been happening for decades and everyone, including the news media still eats it up. Don’t get me wrong, I eat it up too, but its a very strategic piece of an organization’s marketing mix.

The first time I remember something like this in my era was when the Polartec manufacturing facility in Lawrence MA burned down weeks before Christmas. The owner Aaron Feuerstein promised to keep all of the employees on the payroll while they rebuilt. It’s was a holiday miracle because many of the employees wouldn’t have been able to make it without a paycheck during the season, let alone during the reconstruction. The media ran with the story for weeks and although the decision ultimately bankrupted the company it’s still something I think of during the holidays and when I put on a Polartec Fleece.

Today I came across this story from the Lego Company that responded to a child that wrote them a heartbreaking letter about how he’d saved up for particular set and by the time he got the money together it was discontinued and selling for a small fortune on eBay.

They sent him the set for free along with a nice note about how proud they are to have him as a customer. It’s now viral and just in time for the shopping season.

I do question some pieces of the video due to the multiple camera angles and the tearing open of a box which I believe the parents would have had to of inspected before giving it to him. The reading of the entire letter through me a bit too. I’m sure most people don’t think as deeply as I do about this kind of stuff but being a marketer I question every time I see a can of Pepsi in a movie. Either way, it’s heartwarming piece of video.