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The PR “Push”

September 14, 2010

Twilight star Taylor Lautner is well-known to most people around the world, but Brent McMahon and McMahon’s RVs of California are not so well-known.  That was until the two names were brought together publically in the form of a lawsuit by the young actor.  Lautner was suing the RV dealership for failing to deliver an expensive and customized RV by an agreed deadline.  While they say there is no such thing as bad press, Mr. McMahon decided that this piece of press could use a little more positive light shined on it.


It was at that time that the RV man turned PR into a creative advertising scheme.  Luxury RVs definitely fall into the niche market, because not everyone has a spare $300,000 they can shell out for a mobile mansion.  This can make it difficult and expensive to target prospective clients effectively.  That is until an international celebrity’s name shows up in association with you and your product.  Rather than be slowed or intimidated McMahon used a little spin of his own to put the odds back in his favor.  Going to court or settling the case was going to cost the RV company at least $40,000 anyway, so why not use that money as a national advertisement.

Through magazines and teenage girls it is know to all the impressive shape that 18 year old Taylor Lautner is in, so the 47 year old McMahon had found the flare he needed for his campaign.  That flare came in the form of a challenge to a winner take all push-up contest, with the winners pot going to charity.  This is a way to peak public interest and even bolster some support, because of the charitable contribution.  Not only was the $40,000 going to charity but to further spin this in a positive direction McMahon also promised that any RVs sold between now and December 2011 would elicit an additional $50 donation each.  To abuse an old  cliché, that’s “using a lemon to make lemonade.”  What started out as negative PR for one party was reversed and used as subliminal advertising.  This shows you that sometimes a little creativity can go along way.

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