How 'Chevy Guy' And Other Awkward Moments Create Great PR

Chevrolet executive Rikk Wilde might have nervously stumbled his way through a corporate promo after the World Series, but at least he got attention.
Posted at 6:29 PM, Oct 30, 2014

World Series MVP pitcher Madison Bumgarner was really good this postseason, but it wasn't the pitcher who had people talking about the post-game MVP trophy ceremony. It was this guy. 

Chevrolet executive Rikk Wilde nervously said a few words about Bumgarner, Major League Baseball and Chevy — presenting the Giants pitcher with a 2015 Chevy Colorado featuring "technology and stuff." 

Yes, and as you can see from these headlines, he stole the show

And Chevy's marketing team wasted no time riding on that publicity, posting this to Twitter: "Truck yeah the 2015 #ChevyColorado has awesome #TechnologyAndStuff! You know you want a truck." 

Chevy followed that up with another #TechnologyAndStuff tweet about 12 hours later. 

USA Today writes the things couldn't have gone better from a PR standpoint: "Wilde's real-life, large scale realization of the middle school nightmare of being woefully unprepared to speak in front of the class actually gave the moment some genuine human feeling, as opposed to just another 30 seconds of corporate white noise."

Of course, Chevy and other brands use sports as a major vehicle to promote their products. And, in the past, it seems to have worked ... especially in really awkward situations. (Video via Chevrolet)  

Remember when the lights went out during the Super Bowl in 2013? Oreo sure does. 

Moments after the stadium went black, Oreo jumped on Twitter and posted: "Power out? No problem," with a photo captioned, "You can still dunk in the dark."

Some outlets said the tweet "won" the Super Bowl. Not bad when commercial TV time costs millions of dollars.

And you've gotta give it up for Mets pitcher Matt Harvey's really awkward interview on "The Dan Patrick Show."

MATT HARVEY VIA "The DAN PATRICK SHOW""Today's about Qualcomm."

DAN PATRICK: "You don't want to talk about this whole rehab and Tommy John?" 

HARVEY: "No, I mean I will. We can set up another call if you'd like to about that subject, but today, obviously, today we're honoring and supporting Qualcomm." 

Harvey later apologized to Patrick, but a Sports Illustrated writer says the interview was a success, as far as Qualcomm is concerned. "Right now I'm writing about Qualcomm, you're reading about Qualcomm, and by the end of this sentence, you will have read the word 'Qualcomm' eight times in this article alone, not counting your additional exposure to the company and its products if you watched the initial interview."

And though Chevy managed to flip its pretty awkward situation into something good, it wasn't all positive news for the auto-maker. 

There's that awkward fact about the company giving Bumgarner a truck model that was recalled earlier this month for air bag issues. Yikes.  

Still, given the evidence, we're thinking DirecTV and awkward Rob Lowe might just be onto something here. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.