Pringles Is Possibly Running The Craziest Guerilla Marketing Campaign Ever

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Pringles Part Deux: A Crime Wave?

So this is where it gets a little weird. Actually…a lot weird. Monday night, WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida (because Florida) reported the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office had told them that a woman had been shot after agreeing to perform a sex act on a man for $5 and a can of Pringles. The woman (once again unnamed) was taken to the hospital, while the suspect was said to have escaped on foot.

Now, this story is pretty crazy and if it weren’t for the previous story, it wouldn’t raise our suspicions. But if you watch the video, there’s no mention of Pringles, just of “a snack”. Only when the story was published to the web did Pringles appear and figure predominantly in the headline, the URL and the story. Other news stations quickly bundled the two stories together.

Maybe we’re paranoid about Pringles…but maybe not

So the idea that Pringles might be hiring people to plant fake news stories or inserting the product name into stories about actual events is a little out there, but in a world where our phones are listening in on every conversation looking for advertising keywords, is it really that far-fetched?

The nature of the stories themselves present a good deal of deniability to such a campaign, if it exists. They don’t present Pringles in a positive light; they just get the name out in the national conversation. If these were feel-good stories, then people might get a bit more skeptical. Instead they’re stories that everyone on social media sees.

If you follow marketing research, you know the most effective form of advertising is the kind of saturation method companies like Coca-Cola engage in, where you see the Coca-Cola logo all over the place and after you see it so many times, you’re X% more likely to buy the product.

We already know that large companies are using product placement in most of the TV shows and movies we watch. Is it really that far of a stretch for local news stations to take advertising money to plant marketing stories? Many are already doing the same for political causes.

At the end of the day, the only evidence we have is a complete lack of breadcrumbs

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Business Correspondent

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