For more than three years, Crumbs Bake Shop has been part of the birthday tradition at Likeable Media. Without fail, our team awkwardly surprises staff members with an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” on their special day. Then, on 7/7/14 — Wait… 7 + 7 = 14! This means something, right?! — this happened:
We thought this was the end of our beloved tradition. The news hit our group late in the evening and many of our employees cried themselves to sleep. But by the next day, we realized something: We were still in possession of a Crumbs Cupcake, bought on July 7 and somehow not devoured by anyone in the office. This was quite possibly the last such sugary confection in the world, because who in their right mind lets a cupcake from Crumbs sit around for more than a few minutes?
Our early morning crew was contemplating what could should we do with the “Last Crumbs Cupcake” when one of our community managers, Casey Danton, suggested we sell it on eBay. Our Director of Talent & Culture, Brian Murray, scrambled to put the item up for bid. His first pass at writing the story behind the cupcake was terrible, so he enlisted the help of one of our Content Strategists, Mike Mitchell, who rewrote the copy.
We decided that nobody within the office should be the lone beneficiary of the sale of our million-dollar cupcake, so we agreed that any profits would be put toward the common office good. Admittedly, our office is pretty sweet, but we always love a few beers or a nice lunch. This wouldn’t even have to be expensed!
While the copy was amazing and the product even better, that wasn’t enough. We needed distribution. Our in-house Social Media and PR Manager, Michele Weisman, our Instagram Virtuoso, Casey Danton, and one of our Account Managers, Honey Comer, started searching the Twittersphere for people talking about the cupcake. They discovered tons of publications, blogs, cupcake-aholics and reporters discussing the closing of our beloved Crumbs Bake Shop. Through some outreach and cooperative retweeting (our whole team had a rooting interest in our success) we picked up our first post at 12:19pm on Epicurious. Our team enthusiastically shared our “news coverage,” as excitement continued to grow.
An hour and a half later our next break came. TheMarySue which describes itself as “the nexus of pop culture and the uncharted universe” wrote a post that, albeit was not shared millions of times, was nevertheless viewed by two people of great value! An editor from USA Today and a writer from CNBC reached out to speak to briantmurray6 after an exhaustive search to figure out who exactly was behind this lone-survivor cupcake.
Later in the afternoon, our story appeared in USA Today and CNBC. We received our first bid of $250, which we admit was a steep starting point for the auction but, on the other hand, YOLO. Each member of our staff went to sleep dreaming of the possibilities. Overnight we picked up a few more posts.
All in all, this is a textbook example of capitalizing on a moment and making something happen. The team came together with a simple idea, used the credibility we had already built, and found a way to get widespread attention. We’ve had a great time with this story and can’t wait for the next one. By the way, the greatest thing that came of this was the comments on Jezebel, which is part of the Gawker network. You can see the awesomeness of the internet at work by clicking here.
- More than 10k views of our cupcake on eBay
- Hundreds of tweets, likes, and shares on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Two bids on eBay
- One tongue-in-cheek case study
- Zero payments received but we are still holding out hope
- Significant uptick in traffic to Likeable website