Did it go something like this?
OK. Settle down everyone.
Oh god. Have you all been on the Milk Caramel Sea Salt again? Look, we’ve talked about this.
You’ve all had far too much sugar haven’t you?
Remember what happened last time we brainstormed PR ideas when you were all on a sugar-rush.
OK. Right. Here’s the thing. We’re opening a new shop in the old stock exchange building next week.
Got any good PR ideas?
And so, the Tony's Chocolonely team came up with the brilliantly simply idea of putting out a press release saying they were “going to the stock exchange.”
And then all hell broke loose.
Media, serious media, started writing stories about a potential Tony's Chocolonely IPO. The story was everywhere - well, everywhere in the Netherlands at least.
And then later in the day, Tony's Chocolonely confirmed they were in actual fact “just” opening a shop in the old stock exchange building and not actually joining the stock market. (See what they did there.)
And all hell broke loose again.
There were cries of ‘fake news’ and “hoax.” Which I guess is actually true, but suddenly the nation’s PR practitioners started taking themselves a bit too seriously. Lots of talk of duping and eroding the relationship between brand and media. The word "integrity" was banded around quite a bit.
But consumers loved it.
It was cheeky, it was a bit of fun, it was daring - it was exactly the Tony's Chocolonely brand in action.
It didn’t damage their brand at all. Far from it. The idea brought the brand to life. And now, if they want it to stick, they need to do more of it.
Now obviously if you are bank or a security company with different values, this kind of PR shenanigans is probably not the best way forward. But if you are chocolate company, selling slightly crazy, slave-free chocolate, then to hell with it, anything goes!
Tony's Chocolonely might just want to clear the air with a few disgruntled journalists, but nothing that a bar or two of Dark Pecan Coconut or Dark Almond Sea Salt couldn’t sort out.