Amazon Gives Away Cheap Gas (And Logjams L.A.)
In 2019, Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel scooped an amazing twenty nominations at the Emmy's for everything from its acting to its editing to its music to its hairstyles to its catering (probably). Despite this being the award show equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel, Amazon decided to simultaneously promote Mrs. Maisel and generate some headlines by giving the people of L.A. what they've always dreamed of: Affordable living.
For the entirety of August 15th, Amazon lowered the price of everything from food to hotels to movie tickets to groceries back to their 1959 price equivalents (the year the show is set.) And by all accounts, it was a smash-hit success, garnering a lot of positive press, even more excited tweets, and by day's end, many of the deals were sold out across the city. It went great! Well, aside from the gas thing.
See, in their infinite wisdom, Amazon also lowered prices on gas to their 1950's counterparts at one specific filling station - Angelos in Santa Monica. It became only 30 cents a gallon, which in this economy is like giving away, well, gas for 30 cents a gallon. It's its own hyperbolic metaphor.
Immediately, drivers jumped on the promotion and started filling up their cars, trucks, lawnmowers, basically any receptacle that could hold fluid with that sweet, cheap, oily nectar. As word of mouth spread, just like Amazon wanted it to, the crowds got larger...and larger...and larger...and larger still, until the surrounding roads and freeway exits were forced to a standstill. By the end of the morning, local law enforcement was dispatched to the scene to direct traffic and force the promotion to end. If they hadn't, there's a perfect chance that those lines would still be there.
Build-a-Bear's "Pay Your Age" Day Reduces Young Children to Tears
There are many ways to tell when you've effed-up a promotion. There's no bigger indication, however, than if you make a small child cry. And Build-a-Bear's "Pay Your Age" promotion did just that, and probably has to go down in history as the worst-run promotion of all time, having been responsible for reducing more children to sobbing heaps of despair than Mr. Blobby.
In 2018, the company announced that for one day only, children would only pay their age. 4 years-old would pay $4, 5 year-olds would only pay $5, and 30 years-olds would have the police called on them. Despite planning for a big crowd, though, they were not prepared for this, as crowds of parents and children swarmed their locations, desperate to take advantage of the promotion before it ended and those fucking bears went back to costing the same as a small apartment.