'Come hit the bag'
Screaming phrases like, "Learn a move; earn a prize" and "Mad at your boss? Come hit the bag," the street team helped stressed media execs, frustrated New York commuters and passers-by release their anger with a quick sparring lesson or a hitting session with one of the Oxygen punching bags. Those brave enough to participate chose from a selection of prizes such as tank tops with the show's logo and boxing glove-shaped stress balls. The shyer ones could don pink boxing gloves, jab a target on the punching wall and instantly win a prize.
"People are just coming out of work," said Murisa Harba, one of the promo boxers. "They just let it [stress] out on these bags."
Produced by Lead Dog Marketing, the stunt will make three stops each day -- when people first get to work, during lunchtime and right before those staying late at the office head home.
Show premiered last week
Developed over the course of six weeks, Oxygen wanted to find a fun way for ad-sales clients as well as consumers to find out more about the show, which premiered on June 12.
"We've given away 3,000 prizes from our punching board, and we have media buyers in full office gear getting into the ring and sparring with our trainers," said Cynthia Ashworth, senior VP-marketing, Oxygen.
Prior to the event, the agencies were mailed boxing gloves to announce the stunt. And pink Oxygen coolers filled with protein brownies and energy drinks were hand-delivered to each shop.
"It's great," said Brandon Korman, senior analyst, MEC MediaLab. "It's a good way to get the word out for the show -- good promo." Mr. Korman added that he would consider catching the next episode.
Not the first time
This isn't the first time the network has pulled unconventional events such as this. In April 2005, Oxygen promoted "Mr. Romance," the network's search for the next Harlequin romance novel model, by letting host Fabio roam Time Square on horseback. Middle-aged cheerleaders performed cheers outside Grand Central in January 2006 to promote "Campus Ladies," a sitcom about two middle-aged housewives who go to college and experience freshman year in their 40s.
"We let what is cool about the show lead the creative process and make sure it's as fun and buzzworthy as possible," Ms. Ashworth said.