Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Opportunistic or Low? Cities Cash in on PR Stunts.

Painting the town red is so passé.  With a little cash you can paint an entire town Smurf Blue!
Juzcar, a small town in Southern Spain, agreed to be painted entirely blue for promotion of the Smurfs movie.  Per an agreement with Sony, the little town of only 221 people unanimously agreed to a temporary paint job. (Sony would paint the town back to its notorious white after a short period of time.)  According to Gizmodo via Kuriositas, when Sony returned, the villagers decided to keep it blue noting that some 80,000 people visited the town in a sixth month span. As you can imagine, these visitors generated some serious tourism dollars.  Furthermore, the town decided to keep it blue on a vote that favored the blue- 141 to 33.  Villagers even showed up at the town vote dressed as their favorite Smurf.  (I don’t know about you, but I would have showed up as Azreal and voted against it).  
Image courtesy of
Image Courtesy of

Image Credit Flickr User Manuel Floresv via Kuriositas
This isn’t the first time a town has taken up the offer of a PR stunt:  -A small village in India changed its name from Nagar to (India’s largest coupons site) after the CEO installed 15 hand pumps allowing villagers easier access to water. As reported by CNN, this saved villagers a 2-mile walk but it was an easy $5k PR win for Snapdeal.
ToPikachu, Kansas – Mayor Joan Wagnon renamed Topeka to ToPikachu for a one-day event hosting Pokemon coming to the US in 1998. 
Google, Kansas – In an effort to be selected as part of Google's "Fiber for Communities" high-speed broadband program (earning the city Internet speeds of up to 100x), Topeka’s mayor announced an unofficial name change to Google, KS. Sadly, Topeka (and over 1,000 other cities) lost to Kansas City. 
Sleepy Hollow, NY – Tarrytown, NY (just outside of Manhattan) voted in 1996 to have their name changed to Sleepy Hollow.  The change was in honor of the legendary story by Washington Irving, who is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. 

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