We have just a few weeks to go until Dec. 21, 2012 -- the Mayan end calendar date that 's long prompted doomsdayers to declare the end of the world is nigh, despite Mayan elders saying it merely signifies a transition from one era to another one.
But far be it from companies to not try and capitalize on buzz around something so grim as the potential end of the world.
As home to ancient Mayan ruins, it was only fair that Mexico got the earliest start. As we wrote last year, tourism officials began marketing around the apocalypse just as we were approaching 2012. The city of Tapachula, near the Pacific coast and on the border of Guatemala, erected a gigantic digital clock to help everyone count down to the finale. Elsewhere across the country, hundreds of events and tours were announced, with a special eye cast toward Mayan region.
The push lost some momentum in the ensuing months, but it's rearing its head again now, with more than a few brands jumping on the "end of days" bandwagon.
Most notably, Old Spice got in the action last week with an online game from Wieden & Kennedy starring retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo going on missions to try and save the world.
Toyo Tires is another one that 's started a new apocalypse campaign from San Diego-based shop Vitro. Toyo is willing to pony up big cash -- end-of -the-world cash -- to bet that the Mayans are wrong. So much so that if the apocalypse does happen, the entire world gets a free set of Toyo Tires. If, however, you agree with Toyo that the world is made to last, you can like them on Facebook and win some prizes.
To help amplify the promotion, Toyo launched a new video series starring Apocalypse prepper Donny Doomsday.
As far away as Siberia, companies have begun marketing apocalypse survival kits. And for the first time since Noah, we may even see a surge in ark sales and building material; a Chinese man is making headlines for devoting his life savings to constructing a vessel to help navigate the stormy end, should it ever come.
We'd like to keep track of these zany promotions, so if you see apocalypse-related marketing efforts, be sure to let us know in the comments.