For some, PR victory is as sweet as a box of Samoas.
A comedy bit from Oscars host Chris Rock gave the Girl Scouts of the USA an estimated $5.5M in free publicity.
During Sunday night’s broadcast, Rock pleaded with celebrity attendees—though he didn’t have to try hard—to support his daughters’ organization by purchasing cookies.
Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies—and images of various stars enjoying them—quickly made the rounds online. Within minutes, #GirlScouts became a trending topic on Twitter:
Some social media users dubbed Mindy Kaling, Kate Winslet and other celebrities as Girl Scouts brand ambassadors—and the organization’s director of communications, Stewart Goodbody
, took no issue with that.
“This certainly was an enormous, enormous spotlight, and we were blown away,” Goodbody told AdWeek."We know that everybody loves supporting the girls in addition to enjoying the sweet treats themselves, and we knew that seeing celebrities partaking and having fun in such a fun bit would lead the general public to be interested, as well and want a little bit more information.”
According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, Chris Rock’s salesmanship resulted in 49,023 tweets about Girl Scout Cookies and garnered more digital content interaction than organizations that paid millions to advertise.
Girl Scouts’ social media managers stepped up to the plate as soon as the Internet caught wind of celebrities’ cookie consumption:
In addition to sharing photos of indulgent stars, Girls Scouts’ marketers worked to promote the organization’s values and message online:
By the end of the night, Rock claimed the Los Angeles-based troop he brought on stage had raised more than $65,000.
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The organization paid absolutely nothing for the air time, and the request to participate came from Rock himself, Goodbody said. By contrast, AdWeek reported that 2014’s famous selfie with Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres was a paid integration with Samsung.
Sometimes the best PR comes unexpectedly, which proved true Sunday. Business Insider reported that the estimated $5.5M free promotion was even more valuable than Peyton Manning’s unprompted Budweiser mention after his victory in Super Bowl 50.
How do you think the Girl Scouts organization fared during its 15 minutes of Oscars fame, and what’s your cookie of choice?