How good PR waxes and wanes around the eclipse

From a ‘blackout sale’ to a special donut glaze, many brand managers are taking advantage of the cosmic event. However, some organizations seem star-crossed in their promotional efforts.

A local middle school ordered 1,300 pairs of solar eclipse viewing glasses that it can’t use because the school board is mandating that all students stay indoors.

They’re trying to protect kids’ eyes and perhaps prevent a lawsuit.

So, the school did what one might do with a hot commodity: They tried to sell those 1,300 pairs of glasses for $1 apiece. It was a great idea—if only the school board had sanctioned it.

The situation, which earned the wrong kind of coverage in the local newspaper, was just one of many bits of eclipse-related deals and PR situations playing out nationwide.

For instance, on the deal side today, you have Denny’s offering $4 all-you-can-eat “mooncakes” and Dairy Queen’s 99-cent Blizzards.

Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme came up with a special chocolate glaze for its signature donuts. Here’s how the company introduced it:

Mattress maker Casper will be in Casper, Wyoming, one of the ideal places to watch the eclipse. They’re offering people a chance to watch it from a luxury tent equipped with a—you guessed it—Casper mattress for a mere $499.

Frigidaire is offering a “blackout sale,” with 30 percent off its black stainless steel package. Amtrak offered a round-trip ticket from Chicago to southern Illinois and the path of totality, though tickets are sold out.

On the PR side, this is NASA’s day to shine. The agency is updating its work on Google Posts. It’ll be live all day providing updates, “from the ground, from the air, from space and more.”

Eighties pop star Bonnie Tyler and Royal Caribbean captured headlines when it was announced she’d be aboard one of the company’s cruise ships during the eclipse singing her hit, “A Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley told members of the press that Tyler was “a natural choice for this once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

Tyler’s tune is also captured in The Guardian’s Spotify playlist that it created for the event.

The fashion industry got into the mix, too, with Softstar Shoes offering an Eclipse Edition:

The U.S. Postal Service put out an eclipse-themed stamp:

Food-wise, Chiquita is teaching us about “the banana sun,” seen in the moments before and after the eclipse when the sun peeks out from behind the moon like a banana:

On the negative PR front, gaffes extended beyond the public schools system. Dutch Bros. Coffee recalled solar eclipse glasses that it handed out:

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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