Outfitting Chile's miners worth tens of millions to Oakley glasses

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Oct 14 2010

Oakley_Radar

The rescued miners in Chile have a lot of new roles to play: international symbols of hope, TV stars, future movie characters—and perhaps most important to the marketing world, brand ambassadors. Oakley, a California company known for its action sports shades, has already reaped a staggering $41 million worth of media exposure for the sunglasses it donated to the miners. And honestly, who can begrudge them the free publicity? We're all seeing the brand over and over as its $180 Radar glasses grace the faces of every one of the freed miners. The glasses have special lenses to filter out the sun's UV rays, the brand says, and the miners, having lived like moles for two months with no light, needed that kind of heavy-duty eye protection for their re-entry to the world. Meantime, Steve Jobs has sent the miners some iPods (what's on their playlists?), and no doubt others will rush to be part of the joy and the nonstop worldwide coverage surrounding it. We'll have to judge each by its level of usefulness and/or opportunism. Rushing to get your products into these heroic guys' hands isn't necessarily crass, but let's see who does it well and who crosses the line.


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