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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    A Shocking Marketing Tactic With Some "Train Wreck" Viral Marketing Thrown In!
    I blogged about this at the Blair Affiliates Blog today, but wanted to get the thoughts of the ABW community.

    I learned about this via a friend on MySpace.com, and the story intrigued me, so I checked it out.

    Evidently, an gentleman by the name of Ray Sabbatini, a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer, is auctioning off (on eBay) the right to shoot him with a taser gun on a video that will be used on his not-yet-complete website to promote MS awareness. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the links here, but I promise there are no affiliate links behind them. You can read my blog post at blairaffiliates.blogspot.com/2007/07/shocking-marketing-tactic-with-some.html and you can find the eBay auction by searching for "multiple sclerosis taser".

    I'm sure this will raise the awareness of his soon to launch site, but is this a bit over the top? Who's gonna bid for the opportunity to zap someone with MS on camera?

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; July 5th, 2007 at 04:15 PM. Reason: I have an issue with the proposed and will not link to it.
    Christopher Park
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    What if you win and just give the guy a hug instead. It's getting attention but I don't know if it's the right attention, maybe. But no, I wouldn't taser him. There have been some deaths associated with it, cardiac arrests etc.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    We could give away one of our Scooter Squeezes.
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    ROTFL! Yeah! That would be shocking, but I don't think that's the kind of "shock value" he's looking for!
    Christopher Park
    Affiliate/Partnerships Manager
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  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    I think we might be surprised at how much money he raises. Along Trust's thinking, I think people will bid and consider it a contribution. Some crazy whacked out rich kid might end up winning and actually tase him, but I can't imagine anyone in their right mind doing that. I hope he raises a ton of money.
    As for the marketing, I think this kid is playing on both sides of human emotion. He is getting the "I am going to bid because I want to contribute" bids and he is also getting the "I want to tase this poor fool" bids. In that case, he has maximized his audience and evokes a response either way. Any marketer who can do that is good in my book. This kid should be an affiliate.


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    There are probably going to be people bidding (good people) that are thinking about the whole whacked out rich kid deal and want to bid high to keep him from getting tased. I can't picture that it's actually going to happen so those expecting a tasing are going to be disappointed.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Wow, I feel ambivalent. How often does that happen. Shit. I must be hungry or something.

  8. #8
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    As someone who works daily raising awareness for a cause I can understand the desperation at times. The hopelessness can sometimes overpower the belief that there will be a cure. However, it is not, nor will it probably ever be, my choice to choose tasering myself as a way to raise awareness. People with certain health challenges are frequently laughed at or ridiculed enough without this tactic.

    I would never feel right in judging his decision. I would not participate in his "sale" or the sale of the right to taser anyone for that matter, but I would make a donation to the MS foundation in his honor.
    Melanie
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    Sorry, Haiko!

    I guess I just got lazy late in the day yesterday, and didn't feel like posting the entire story, so I added the link.

    Once again, my apologies. I'm really at odds regarding how I feel about this. I feel Mellie's expressed a good deal of the feelings I have inside. I just felt this would be a slightly off-topic discussion that could get all of us thinking a bit, yet still about marketing.
    Christopher Park
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  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Chris,

    You didn't do anything wrong, I just didn't want to give this thing legs because I do feel as mellie, nothing more.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  11. #11
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Jeeese, even the Golden Palace Casino might pass on that one. Still, even if it never occurs, it gets some talk and traffic. I couldn't see ebay going along with an auction that might get someone killed. I would have to think there is some form of liability involved there.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Elbow: You know how much stuff gets sold on eBay that could kill someone? Please see the Motors section ;p

    But to the point, it's good marketing, and a horrific concept.
    Kevin Webster
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  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    Just an update...

    As of today, July 9, at 7:21AM Eastern, Ray has received 1 bid for 1 cent, and has received 274 visits to his auction page with 4 days, 8 hours left in the auction.
    Christopher Park
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    I definitely agree with Mellie. I know two people who suffer from this disease so seeing what the disease has done to them without actually having the disease myself, I can to a degree understand this man's frustration and feeling of hopelessness so I'm not about to judge him for his idea.... but definitely don't want anybody to go through with his idea. It would get attention but it would only be minimal and then be gone and don't really think it would prove to be very positive in results for anybody. And....unfortunately I think there would be some sicko out there that would enjoy doing it.

    I don't know if this is coincidental or not but I've noticed some blogs popping up from people who have ms and think that's a much better way to draw attention to the disease and posssibly help some people in coping with it. I'm sure the medical costs vary depending on the severity of the disease but the two people I know have astronomical costs.

    Really very sad that this man feels he has to do this. I wish somebody really rich would see his auction, bid realllllly high and then just pay for him to have a site and monetize it somehow so that he could raise a lot of money that way.

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