Storming Area 51: Capitalizing on the Unseen

[by: Laurie Briones]

What does the West Inn, a tiny 10 room inn located in Alamo, Nevada have to do with a 20-year-old man only known as Val in California? Well, the inn is located about 26 miles from Area 51. Unless you are on hiatus from social media, or living under a rock, you have seen the inundation of memes, articles, blogs, and TV interviews about the Facebook event created by Val, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us”.

A Joke Turned into a Dollar

What started as a funny idea for a meme page, has now blossomed into a 2.4 million strong and growing marketing dream. When Val created this event, I can safely assume that he had no idea the West Inn, the closest lodging site to Area 51, would be fully booked with an additional 60 people committed to camping on the 30 acres the inn resides on the day of the September 20th event.

Can you imagine? One day you create a fake event and share with a few friends, and all of the sudden, you realize there are some people that want to actually attend the fake event. As news spreads like wildfire, you make the decision at some point to put an official website together that sells event merchandise.

We don’t know Val’s background (other than he did not want to release any other personal info for fear of harassment), but Connie West, owner of the West Inn, has at least some marketing and business experience. When she started getting calls to book rooms, and maybe after she looked into the event, made the decision to capitalize on it. She stocked the inn’s gift shop with alien-related trinkets, and when the 10 rooms in the in were all booked, opened up the 30 acres the inn sits on for people to camp.

New Marketing Strategy?

Could this be a trend of things to come? Truth is, it is already happening, just not at this level of visibility. Although we would typically recommend more conventional and tangible marketing methods, you have to admire what has transpired out of sheer luck in this situation.

Without knowing how much money has been made from the Storm Area 51 Event, it is still safe to say when you use a free platform and take a few minutes to create the event, even if you made 50 bucks, you are in the positive. By making it known that the event is fake, if people still travel to Area 51, they do so on their own accord, even with the discouragement of the United States Airforce.

Will You Go?

Word is, Val is more than likely going to make an appearance, but in his words, “not for the intended purpose, but maybe something more educational”. In fact, Keanu Reeves, who is basically John Wick, and Chuck Norris said they were going. What could go wrong?

All joking aside. If you are looking for a Rockstar full-service marketing agency with out-of-the-box ideas, the search is over. Call us today at (866) YES-BLOOM (2566).