Profiting from ‘Cupcakegate’

Ever feel threatened by a pastry?

Apparently some TSA folks do.

The great cupcake scandal erupted a few days before my surgery. (Surgery went very smooth, thanks for all the well wishes).

Stick with me on this, there is a valuable marketing lesson…

If you’ve ever traveled in the USA, you know how inconsistent airport checks are.

Seems a cupcake purchased in Rhode Island, made it through east coast airport security with no problems.

But Las Vegas deemed the frosting on the tasty treat to be a threat. (I am not making this up)

And said cupcake was confiscated.

The owner of the cupcake was less than thrilled and did not have kind things to say about the reasoning powers of Vegas TSA agents.

Which brings us to the marketing lesson.

Kelly Colgan, owner of Silver Spoon Bakery created a “TSA Compliant Cupcake”.

This first ever compliant pastry also comes with a TSA boarding pass and a picture of Richard Nixon saying “I am not a gel”.TSA Compliant Cupcake

They also dubbed the cupcake confiscation “Cupcakegate”. And then began to send out press releases.

The results are impressive. So far this bakery has been featured in

  • The Los Angeles Times
  • The Huffington Post
  • ABC News
  • Business Insider
  • Time Magazine
  • Fox News

They even created a key word focused website.

These are some smart cookies!

I’ll bet this bakery is always on the lookout for opportunities like this, and this one went viral because it hit a nerve with people.

Plus, I’ll bet they had fun putting this thing together.

But the most important metric is sales, and in follow up interviews they had this to say:

“We’ve been shipping all over – one of our most recent orders being a US Airways pilot! We’re looking to expand into airports and partner with national chains and local vendors to offer our unique treats.”

And this is why I am so big on using publicity in your marketing.

Will you always hit homeruns like this?


But if you are persistent, you will get stories.

And one good story can bring in a LOT of new business.


Need some help using publicity in your marketing? Check out my low-cost program How To Use Free Publicity To Get More Clients

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