Friday, April 29, 2005

PR stunts

CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner of Opera said if downloads of the new iteration hit 1 million in the four days after its release, he'd swim from Norway (where Opera is based) to the USA.
Again, according to Opera, the "communications department could not resist the temptation, and made his statement public."
Viola, the press picked up the statement and word spread.

No one knows how many of those downloads will be used, but passing the magic number meant Mr von Tetzchner had to jump into freezing Norweigian waters for his "swim" to America.
The stunt played out in high dot-com buffoon style, with "updates" that saw Mr von Tetzchner struggling to get into a wetsuit, training in a pool for a day, and then setting off, accompanied only by his PR manager and a little rubber raft.
Well, of course, the raft is the beard, here, and in an update titled "BRAVE CEO SAVES PR MANAGER IN DRAMATIC RESCUE AT SEA," the raft suffered a puncture and Mr von Tetzchner "rescued" his floundering PR manager -- who, it eventuated, could neither swim nor read maps.
The trip gathered so much publicity and so many people surfed over to see how the swim would turn out, Opera's website was largely unavailable today.


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