Monday, December 22, 2008

Broken In Brief: Iraqi shoe throwing an elaborate viral marketing scheme

BAGHDAD—With the recent revelation that the Baydan Shoe Company, makers of the Baydan Model 271 shoe that journalist Muntazar al-Maidi threw at President Bush, is now one of the most popular brands in the Middle East, Mr. al-Maidi and owner Ramazan Baydan have today revealed that the shoe throwing and subsequent spreading of the video footage were just an elaborate viral marketing scheme to increase sales and bring street cred to the company.

“We thought it was pretty obvious, but certain Iraqi officials are taking it the wrong way,” said company CEO Baydan.” They want to charge my boy with attempted murder and embarrassing a foreign dignitary when all he was doing was getting some name recognition for BSC. I mean he yelled out ‘This is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.’ That’s a reference to the charity groups that benefit from the sales on model 271. Then he yelled ‘This is a farewell kiss, you dog’, which has been our marketing slogan for years. I think some of the confusion arises from the fact that most people saw the news broadcasts instead of our footage, after Bush ducks the second shoe we superimpose our logo on the screen with the message ‘Baydan Shoes: This Is a Farewell Kiss, You Dog.’”

Initial figures mark this viral campaign as a success, with Baydan seeing stores sell out of model 271 and having to move to fill an additional 140,000 orders. But Iraqi shoe industry insiders worry that by revealing the scheme in an attempt to protect al-Maidi from the repercussions of Iraq’s backwards judicial system, the Baydan Shoe Company might be compromising future sales and a loss of the street cred that is so critical to the Iraqi shoe markets.

When asked about this possibility Mr. Baydan just shrugged it off. “We’ve moved beyond the need to do viral marketing now, this stunt put us in the big time. Now I think we can move our shoe throwing antics into the mainstream with professionally done ad campaigns. We’ve got Wes Anderson working on a shoe throwing bit with Andrea Merkel to debut our new line of loafers. We really think this is just the beginning for us, this shoe throwing thing is going to be our ‘Just Do It’.”

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