Making PR Lemonade Out Of Actual Lemonade
On a semi-regular basis I publish posts on what marketers should not do, to serve as brand-level cautionary tales. Therefore, in an effort towards balanced reporting I feel duty bound to highlight times when marketers take a negative situation and turn it into a positive. In this latest example Kraft (makers of Country Time Lemonade) has turned a bad lemonade story into pure PR gold.
Over the past few years you may have heard stories of local authorities cracking down on kids’ lemonade stands because they’re technically not licensed to sell food. I know this seems like an overreach by Johnny Law, but it actually happens from time to time. So if you’re Country Time, the leading lemonade mix maker, what else would you do to combat the lemonade gestapo than set up a legal defense fund to assist these illicit stands. Hence www.countrytimelegalade.com was born. Yes, it’s a real defense fund with $60,000 in its war chest to cover persecuted lemonade stand owners for up to $300 per infraction. By my math Country Time has enough money to cover the next 200 kids who find their lemonade stand in violation of whatever hair-brained ordinance the town is trying to enforce.
No doubt this is a genius PR move. Not only does it put Country Time on the side of kids (never a bad thing for a lemonade maker), but it’s also a way to stand up for the actual product. Considering there aren’t too many lemonade controversies these days, they’ve taken full advantage of one of those rare marketing wins that’s actually endemic to their category. Kudos to Kraft for getting this one right, and viva’ liberty for all children who stand at the ready to sell lemonade on a street corner near you!