In the midst of Pubcon, probably the largest webmaster conference in the world, an interesting little link Building experiment was bubbling in the background. It goes to show that not all links are built with clever gadgets, reciprocal request or paid links. Some are straightforward bribes. I am delighted to play my part – because the bribe, for me, was to get a chance to see the Blue Man Group. (See? They got the link of course.)
The experiment (come PR coup) was hatched by Joseph Morin, who linked up with one of the largest show promoters in Las Vegas to collect most of the unsold tickets in Vegas to the many shows that are on, over a two day midweek period. Carefully synchronized to avoid as many of the big Pubcon parties as possible, Joseph then offered these tickets to any blogger, You Tube enthusiast or viral marketer coming to the conference. The cost of the ticket? An unenforceable promise for us all to comment or review the show or do “whatever we do” online.
Well – after seeing “O” in 2006 and spending $300 getting tickets, this was not an opportunity to be missed. The Blue Man group landed a series of Bloggers and enthusiasts. I did not get the whole list…but the Blue Man Group certainly managed to get some publicity. At the start of the show, they played up the scam, calling out Jill Whalen and Greg Boser in an amusing introduction that must differ every night of the week. Not that Greg actually turned up, but Jill was certainly there. It didn’t seem to matter.
So was the link building scam a success? Well:
- William Rock talks about the gig and links in glowing terms
- John Marshall’s anchor text was the “best show in Vegas”
- Michael Stebbins linked in his roundup of Vegas
- A selection of Blue Man Pubcon photos on Flickr
- Another Blue Man review from the world of Skiing!!! (Vegas doesn’t get THAT cold)
This was a great link building campaign and based on good old fashioned marketing principals.