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When you are crap you do crazy things.¬†You have to…you’re crap.

The New Jersey Nets’ recent promo efforts prove this point beyond a reasonable doubt. The Nets, who currently inhabit the NBA’s cellar with a 6-53 record, are giving away free tax returns to anyone over 18 who buys a ticket to watch their amateur attempt at playing pro basketball.

Come to a basketball game and get your taxes done. Wow.

Given the Nets record, it might have been smarter to offer up free booze/sex/drugs to people who bought tickets. That way these intrepid souls would not have to endure the game without mental and/or physical stimulation. I doubt 6-53 is much fun to watch without a buzz on.

Jokes aside this is an example of a totally incongruent promotion. Free batteries included if you buy the toy – sure. A bottle of small mouthwash (in the new flavour) if you buy a big bottle of the old variety – yup, makes sense. But this is a pairing out of left field.

It may have been a PR stunt. If so shoot the PR Director (of the Nets not the tax place because the latter did GREAT).

The Nets have shown us that being crap can lead to silly promotions. However, there is more to it. Firms playing a strategy built on crap (usually some kind of cost leadership nonsense) get into all sorts of trouble. These are the folks, engaged in a race to the bottom, who have to employ kids in developing countries, cut corners on safety inspection, etc. Differentiators who create real value with awesome brands or products don’t do these things. Nor do they engage in whack promotions. They just don’t need to.

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