Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

As the world watched

October 15th, 2010 by Deb McLean

As the world watched with nervous anticipation, Chile’s trapped miners were shuttled up a narrow tube to freedom this week.  For 68 days, much of the world’s thoughts and prayers were with these 33 men who were trapped 2,000 feet below the surface.  This meticulously planned rescue operation ended the longest underground entrapment in human history.   One by one, the miners climbed into the steel capsule and took the 15-minute journey to the surface and the joyous reunions.

During their more than two months of confinement, the miners and their determination to survive have inspired their country and riveted the world.  Some have compared the rescue effort to the Apollo 13 Space Mission.  Emotional tension for all watching the drama and then a collective sigh of relief as it all turned out so well.   

What’s different with this drama is that we not only watched on our televisions, but we watched it live on our phones, on our computers and then caught reruns on UTube. 

One product in particular saw a marketing opportunity as well.  Did you happen to notice the fabulous sunglasses each miner was wearing as they stepped into the light?  The Oakley sunglasses company sent down $450 sunglasses for the men to wear to protect them from ultraviolet light as they emerged.  Medical professionals feared retina damage if the miners came up amid the sunshine without the glasses.  I hope this was done with honorable intentions in mind, but nevertheless, CNBC reports that in worldwide television impact alone, Oakley garnered $41 million in equivalent advertising time.

One thing is for certain.  There will be lots more marketing messages tied to this drama coming soon to a medium near you.

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