PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: Techies whine for big bottle of wine

Specialty wine e-tailer SecretCellars.com has drawn a flurry of press hits with its audacious 'dot-com bomb' contest, which calls on victims of the tech shakeout to submit their tongue-in-cheek sob stories in exchange for a chance to win a dollars 1,500 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon popular with the geek elite.

Specialty wine e-tailer SecretCellars.com has drawn a flurry of press hits with its audacious 'dot-com bomb' contest, which calls on victims of the tech shakeout to submit their tongue-in-cheek sob stories in exchange for a chance to win a dollars 1,500 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon popular with the geek elite.

Specialty wine e-tailer SecretCellars.com has drawn a flurry of press hits with its audacious 'dot-com bomb' contest, which calls on victims of the tech shakeout to submit their tongue-in-cheek sob stories in exchange for a chance to win a dollars 1,500 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon popular with the geek elite.

The most persuasively pitiful programmer, Webhead, VC or investor scores the primo vino, and three runners-up get cases of lesser wines.

Since the contest opened in November, more than 2,200 techie has-beens have submitted entries. The number is staggering, especially considering that it amounts to so many doomed Net-trepreneurs waving their hands in the air and shouting: 'I failed! I failed!'

The contest was the brainchild of Gregory FCA, an Ardmore, PA-based PR firm which specializes in start-ups. Four-year-old SecretCellars is a wizened old site in dot-com years, but had focused its marketing efforts exclusively on advertising until it took on Gregory as its agency of record last fall. 'They wanted to do something to distinguish themselves from other online sites,' said Gregory VP Tim Cifelli.

And have they ever. News of the smug competition has been reported by more than 40 news outlets and is tearing its way down the AP wires in print and broadcast formats. Both agency and client say they were floored by the response. But when hordes of reporters came knocking, Gregory was ready with choice entries and even a few phone numbers for dot-bombers willing to go public with their tales of woe.

And you couldn't want for a better spokesperson than SecretCellars CEO Nancy Melone, who lauds her product as 'water kissed by sunlight' before launching into a wistful tirade on the dot-com carnage. 'The kids are running the show,' she says sadly, 'and nobody's watching the playground.'



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.