When Schick came out with their four-blade razor, David Letterman raved about how close the shave was and how much he loved their new product on The Late Show.
This went on for a couple of weeks. Letterman was absolutely in love with his Schick razor and mentioned it time and time again during his monologue or when sitting behind his desk.
Finally, getting no response from Schick – not even a “thank you for mentioning us” – Letterman tore into the company.
“Geez,” he said, “you’d think after all the free publicity and personal endorsements I’ve given to Schick they would at least have acknowledged it.” True, his public statements must have amounted to thousands of dollars of free advertising. Not to mention the more important personal endorsement from the late night host.
After his last rant, the Schick marketing department responded.
“Are you kidding me!?” Letterman said. Holding up two new Schick razors, he went on. “Two lousy, stinking razors? That’s what they send me for all the free publicity I’ve given them? People would kill to have their products mentioned repeatedly before millions of people. Yet, all they can do is send me two stinking razors? What? One is for Paul (bandleader Paul Shaffer) and one for me? That’s big of them. They could have at least sent one for every audience member!”
The next day the marketing department sent the Late Show boxes of new razors for Letterman to disperse to his audience.
“Too late,” Letterman said. “I gave you a chance. You better wake someone up in your marketing department and learn how to do a better job.”
Too close for comfort: People may love your product. But if you tick them off, not only will you lose their business, but the business of their friends they’ll tell in their social networks.