How Firebox got fantastic publicity out of wrapping presents badly

by gordon_mullan

Sometimes, doing something deliberately badly makes it sufficiently talkable to gain masses of media attention.

One company (which has plenty of personality as a matter of course anyway – just read their product descriptions) is Firebox.  However, this year, they’ve come up with a fabulously inventive way to get loads of media coverage…

To quote The Daily Telegraph:

“When it comes to wrapping presents, most men tend to take what could be politely described as a utilitarian approach.

The paper is likely to be roughly chopped, the Sellotape applied in industrial quantities and as for bows and ribbons … forget it!

It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that presented with an immaculately wrapped gift, many women become more than a little suspicious that it may not have received the personal touch.

But now one retailer has come up with an ingenious way to help men with the problem, by providing a wrapping service so shoddy the gift’s recipient will be left in no doubt that her partner did it himself.

CrapWrap (TM) from is paying 20 of its male forklift truck drivers and warehouse assistants to wrap presents as quickly as possible, using ugly brown duct tape and very little care.

And the £3.95 service, cheekily called CrapWrap, has attracted more than 500 customers since its launch last week – five times higher than Firebox expected.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Another example that has worked really well over the years is the American car rental company Rent-A-Wreck.

My question to you is this:  What can you offer your customers, either as a new product or service, or as an add-on to an existing product or service, that will get people smiling and talking about you? 

Can you make it sufficiently ‘left field’ or opposite to what people expect that it makes a compelling media story?

Have a great Christmas and New Year!

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