Clever marketing or silly idea?

The opportunity to fill up with petrol for free caused gridlock yesterday after hundreds of drivers queued for up to an hour to get £40 of free fuel.

Computer games publisher Electronic Arts took over a petrol station in Finsbury Park, north London, intending to give away £20,000 of petrol on a first come, first served basis during a stunt to promote Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a game in which Venezuelan mercenaries fight for control of oil supplies.
the Guardian

Even though Electronic Arts‘s actual advertising stunt ‘failed’ – give £20k of free petrol away – the real/clever marketing has only just begun.

Think about it; they probably only pumped a fraction of the £20k petrol away – they had to abandon the idea; And, their stunt got them onto vitually every UK-based news website – driving a viral marketing effect across the digital ways plus boosting awareness and promoting traffic to their website. I bet the computer games publisher Electronic Arts‘s website traffic spiked with all the interest – searches for the publishers website

I wonder whether Seth Godin might label this a Purple Cow tactic or simply a silly idea?

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