Crime Doesn’t Pay…Unless You’ve Hit Viral Marketing Gold

Take a real life botched robbery (trust me, you can’t make this video up), add in a catchy little jingle and voila, instant free advertising. Well, okay, not completely free given the cost of replacing the $500 broken window. But come on, are those pajama pants he’s wearing?

Following a failed after hours burglary attempt at Kent’s Meat and Groceries in Redding, California, the 70-year-old store owner Kent Pfrimmer assessed the damaged window and had a typical reaction – he “saw $500 in damages.”  However, to the 25-year-old hired to build Kent’s Meat and Groceries a new web site, the comical surveillance video of the botched robbery was viral marketing gold. The original video went viral on shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and Tosh.O.  To date, the video has garnered over 830,000 views. Though it took a little convincing to get the Mr. Pfrimmer on-board with the idea of a video, the finished commercial was featured on several national TV shows, including “Good Morning America” and CNN.

While the robber was never caught, the embarrassment of seeing himself over and over and over on the internet and TV was probably enough to end his crime spree. The store owner “said despite his original misgivings about the commercial, he thinks it’s unseemly to complain. After all, for the cost of a botched $500 burglary attempt, he jokes that he got $500,000 worth of advertising.” So all in all, what could have been an expensive loss turned out to be a huge gain for Kent’s Meat and Groceries thanks to some quality glass windows and a well-placed surveillance camera.

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