Cops put a stop to Amazon's 30-cent 'Mrs. Maisel' gas promo

Promotions for streaming shows have been known to backfire, but Amazon might not be complaining too loudly about this incident. Santa Monica police made Amazon suspenda one-day Marvelous Mrs. Maisel promotionthat charged people 30 cents for gas at a station to reflect prices in 1959 (when the show is set) due to sheer demand. Apparently, the traffic snarls from lined up cars were so severe that law enforcement had no choice but to shut it down.

The August 15th “Maisel Day” promo also offers 1959 prices for food, hotel stays, movie tickets and other common purchases, although it’s safe to say those didn’t create nearly as much trouble. Earlier campaigns, such a Carnegie Deli discount last winter, also went comparatively smoothly.

We’ve asked Amazon for comment. With that said, it won’t be surprising if the company is quietly thrilled with the extra publicity (yes, including news stories like this) that comes with the police intervention. Mrs. Maisel has 20 Emmy nominations ahead of the awards in September – Amazon is determined to remind people of that fact at every given opportunity. We’re just wondering if a gas station was the best choice, though. Amazon is already taking flak for its environmental policies, and encouraging people to produce more emissions won’t exactly improve its image.

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How do promotions like this work? Does Amazon pay the price of the gas minus the 30 cents paid by the customer? 30 cents does not even come close to just the tax per gallon of gas in CA. i cant imagine CA state govt would allow taking a hit on tax revenue, even if just one day at one gas station.

Yes I’m sure that would be the deal between Amazon and the station. Perhaps they get a small discount from the station since it gets PR as well, and lot’s of traffic.

The costs would be very predictable, maybe even slow down the pumping speed a bit :wink:

And have the press lined up to view the line carnage :slight_smile:

Amazon has a lot of money.

They are able to keep some of their general prices low because they make a lot more through “Amazon Web Services.”

Not worth my time to wait in an insane line to save $30 to fill up my SUV. But if others want to, go for it.

I remember seeing insane lines at the Golden Corral buffet in Oklahoma City when they had a “veterans eat free” day in 2002.

  1. I’m not waiting an hour to save $10.
  2. I’m not waiting an hour to eat at the Golden Corral.

But you still remember it, as probably does everyone else from the area. Assuming it didn’t result in massive food poisoning, it was very effective advertising/PR


I would suspect:

Gas station sells however much gas at 30 cents, and Amazon writes a check to the gas station to make up the difference between the 30 cents and the normal sell price

I remember when a Chick-fil-a opened up near my house 15 years ago…they ran a promotion that the first 100 customers got free food for a year (I think a free sandwich every day for a year…something like that). Now, I love my Chick-fil-a, and was tempted to camp out overnight, but the line started a week before! No way.

They do that whenever they open here in MD. Always insane lines. I love me some chick-fil-a, as do my kids, but never bothered to get there at dawn and wait in long lines to take advantage.

WOW, that is some very cheap PR to do.
I tip my hat to their marketing team.

that is cheap PR. One of the best PR programs was when some on the left tried a boycott of Chick-Fil-a…it waited in line 45 minutes before I was served. I think Chick-fil-a is fairly bulletproof against the left now. Also good PR is when some democrat politician tries to ban them from their district / town / airport.

Ultimately, I don’t think Chick-fil-a needs a lot of PR…neither does Amazon. I would prefer not to use Amazon, but I can shop for what I want in 5 minutes, as opposed to going to a store not knowing if they have what I am looking for.

Once we had moved to a new town. That first night, we were tired and hungry and wanted to thank our friends for moving. In spite of being broke we decided to order Papa John’s pizza.

I called in my order, after it was done they gave my total and said “but, because tomorrow is our official grand opening, tonight is training. Everything is free.”

This was pre-social media, but, I did call my friends who lived in the area, they all received free meals that night.

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No, corporate CfA doesn’t need the PR, but it really energizes the new store. Suddenly all the locals know it opened and where it’s located without extensive local advertising.

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I don’t understand on what basis the government is prohibiting a company from selling something that is perfectly legal, or selling in a way that is perfectly legal.

From what I understand, prices were more like 10 cents a gallon in 1959.


Welcome to California.

And you received a free glass and green stamps :slight_smile:

Oil check and windows cleaned too.

Some of our freedoms can be limited in the interest of public good and safety. Whether or not this is such a case is arguable and will probably remain so in the absence of a challenge in court.

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