Some of the greatest marketing plans I've come across recently--
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
The Man & Woman of the Year Competition actually pits candidates for the title against each other in fundraising endeavors. They each throw events that raise money for the cause, and each dollar raised counts as a vote for the candidate. Not only does this raise funds efficiently (volunteers are doing all of the event planning), but it also ensures that the name of the organization is CONSTANTLY in the papers, on calendars, and on everyone's minds.
Okay, so this may not have actually been a marketing ploy by perfectmatch.com, but it sure seems like it. The Science of Love aired last week as a one-hour dating show highlighting instinct versus science. The contestant, Adam, chose one girl for himself, and the other date was chosen by "science". The date with science was engineered to produce a love response (romantic settings, scary feats, etc.), and Adam absolutely chose the science date. The idea was that science can pick our dates better than we can, so we should trust it more. Thus, perfectmatch.com is a great choice. Regardless, this was a brilliant plan to get people to switch over after having failed at match.com and such.
Georgetown, SC, recently became Picturetown when Nikon offered residents 200 of their new D40s to demonstrate that ANYONE can produce a great picture with this camera. Seemingly generous, small-town, homey, and GENIUS! I even want one now. And I was holding out for an SLR. (Man I'm glad I didn't get into photography...if everyone can do it how would I make money? :))