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It’s official: the web has just sent Pitbull to Kodiak, Alaska.

Across the web people are commenting on the failed promotion between Pitbull, the multi-platinum recording artist, and Sheets, the dissolvable tongue strips brand. At the center of the promotion is Walmart, which teamed up with Sheets to highlight “My Local Walmart” on Facebook. In the end, it appears to be an embarrassing miscalculation for all participants.

Well, we think its great! For us, its further validation that brands and retailers can work work together to create amazing traction in the market.

What Happened?

The promotion kicked off as a way for Sheets to better connect with local customers by “liking” their nearby Walmart Facebook page. For Sheets, it makes sense as this is where their energy and sleep dissolvable strips are sold. A few months back, Walmart partnered with Facebook to create individualized Facebook pages for each of their local stores in an initiave called “My Local Walmart.” Once created, each store could leverage their unique Facebook page with national promotions. Enter Sheets and Armando Christian Perez aka “Pitbull.”

The HuffPost sums it up best:

A writer for The Boston Phoenix newspaper thought it’d be funny to send Pitbull to the most remote Walmart possible, and is encouraging people to “like” the Walmart in Kodiak.

Without a doubt, both Sheets and Walmart miscalculated how Internet-goers would react to the Pitbull promotion. Granted they may have chosen the wrong star in Pitbull, it still validates how brands and retailers can work together to create a huge impact online.

The Winners

Walmart: Like every other store, they understand that people make stronger connections to their local businesses than national chains, even if that local business is, well a Walmart. With this promotion, they effectively took a national advertising campaign and challenged their local stores to participate through Facebook in order to get Pitbull to appear at their location (and gain thousands of new fans in the process). As much as others like to criticize them, Walmart still leads the field in innovating the local buying experience from a national brand.

Sheets: They got huge exposure and they’re more than happy with it: besides, their product fits the “any press is good press” mantra. Sheets realizes how bringing foot traffic into physical stores is the most important outcome they could’ve hoped for alongside Walmart–and they’re now bringing Pitbull to Alaska in a wild marketing excursion.

The (Lone) Loser

Pitbull: We’re sorry. You may have ┬ájumped the shark with this one; see you on VH1 in a few years. The fact that so many people wanted to send you to one of the farthest, most remote reaches of the country, can’t be good thing for your career. But for lyrics like “Go, yeah you baby Back, ooh you groovy baby,” we also thank you–at least you’re a good sport in the video below. {Full disclosure: my wife loves Pitbull}


More than anything, this (somewhat) failed promotion evidences how Sheets and Walmart could find huge marketing opportunities by working together. In fact, Sheets could even partner with other retailers to further create channel awareness with their retailers. By engaging your retailers with a valuable and understandable offer, along with a little help from prankster Internet-comedians, a small brand like Sheets has been catapulted into national attention. Enjoy your trip, Pitbull.

ben at promoboxx dot com