WOM Tip #118: Apply your word of mouth lens to your traditional marketing

As incredible as word of mouth is, much of the other marketing stuff you’re used to doing probably still has value at your company.

Sure, if you’re on a desert island and can only take one marketing strategy with you, make it word of mouth.

Most likely, direct marketing, PR, and even advertising still has its place in your marketing mix. Your job, however, is to apply your word of mouth vision across all of these other activities to give them the WOM bump.

Each of these become infinitely more effective when you think about earning the respect and recommendation of fans and customers through these other channels.

Always, always ask this question about everything that goes out the door: Would anybody tell a friend?

If not, go back and make it remarkable. Make that ad so fantastic people subscribe to your YouTube channel to see more. Make that direct mail piece something people take to the office to show coworkers. Make that PR response genuine and inspiring.

We’d like to think that’s what the team at PlayGearz did when they were writing this press release for the launch of their new game. Instead of the usual blast, they sent out this goofy one that got posted all around the web — with some even going so far to call it, “The Best Email to Ever Hit Our Inbox.”

iPhone 5 PR Stunt Ends in Disaster Leaving 21 Homeless


September 26th, 2012, San Francisco, in a series of “stunts” to gain public attention for a new Apple iPhone 5 and iPad game launch, a startup went overboard causing massive property damage.

At 7:00 am, a crew drove 3 cranes, equipped with 1.5 ton wrecking balls, to a mid-city housing complex. The wrecking balls were painted to look like roundish flying Yumbies, adorable characters who smash through buildings and other structures in the game.

“It sounded like a clever idea,” stated Steve Hoffman, the CEO of Playgearz, the company that created the Yumbies. “But there was trouble with the execution.”

With a cheering audience, the cranes arrived at a supposedly abandoned housing complex in South San Francisco. Amidst the fanfare, they proceeded to carry out a demolition in the style of their game.

A bystander reported: “Things began to look odd when a couple inside the building started yelling for help and waving white t-shirts.”


A second bystander saw residents crowding fire escapes on the side of the building. Within 2 minutes, there were 237 phone calls made to 9-11.

“We couldn’t get their attention in the cranes,” said a neighborhood security guard. “Most of them were listening to heavy metal music while operating the machinery. Giant painted wrecking balls were swinging everywhere.”

Firemen reported that two thirds of the building was demolished in the failed stunt, causing an estimated $9 million in damages.

Tork, the Yumby foreman in charge, is quoted as having said, “They told us the building was condemned.”

A woman who was inside the building during the demolition told reporters, “I thought it was the beginning of the end… What are Yumbies? I don’t understand why this happened.”

Court hearings have been scheduled for early December. All Yumbies are being held without bail until the trial, while the San Francisco district attorney looks into whether game characters can be prosecuted.

About PlayGearz


PlayGearz is a mobile games studio located in San Francisco, California. PlayGearz develops and publishes apps and games for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone & iPad on iOS 6, as well as Google’s (GOOG) Android, Amazon‘s (AMZN) Kindle Fire, Facebook (FB), and Barnes & Noble (BKS) Nook. If you haven’t guessed already, the Yumbies are fictional characters who inhabit the PlayGearz games. Although they enjoy smashing things, it typically doesn’t cause physical damage or add to San Francisco’s housing problems.

For more information, please contact: [email protected]. Or visit us at: http://www.yumby.com 

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