Credit Coca-Cola with a great PR stunt with their plans to put Coke ads in Chinese on the rotating courtside signs at Madison Square Garden. Obviously it’s a blatant (and brilliant) exploitation of Jeremy Lin – and Coke gets the association without even having to sign Lin to an endorsement deal and pay him.

It’s a traditional case of added publicity with an ad buy – as clearly MSG isn’t the place to reach a high volume of consumers who read Chinese – it’s a chance to get tons of free publicity around an advertising buy.  The ads wont be up more than a few months maximum – and the cost of the ad buys has already likely been recouped with all of the free publicity they have received already.

As a Coke spokesperson said “Given that the NBA is a global association for our company and that we do a lot of cross-cultural marketing around the NBA, we agreed.”

She also could have said “It’s a great stunt, sure to get us a ton of free media coverage, and we can be mentioned in a ton of articles about Jeremy Lin, and not pay him. It’s a brilliant PR stunt.”  I would have agreed had she said that.

This might a deeper play, where brands become more obvious with how they align people and products.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.


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