Prime Day, touted by Amazon as a sales event rival to Black Friday, was a July 15 marketing stunt intended to attract more customers to site's subscription service, Amazon Prime. The retailer's stock price climbed sharply in the week leading up to Prime Day, reaching $469.18 on the eve of the event and then climbing further to $487.10 on Tuesday.
The one-day sale might not have been so successful had Amazon not been so adept at generating free publicity.
Top media outlets published hundreds of articles about it in the days leading up to and including the event. Time, USA Today, the Washington Post and even The Street were among those to offer shopping guides and other coverage of the sale. Not only were news publications providing Amazon free publicity, many even linked directly to sale items.
Scott Severson, president of content marketing agency Brandpoint, said the media campaign was a successful public relations move for Amazon.
"Typically, the major shopping events have been really holiday-based or a bit more thematic," Severson said. "They're creating this event in the middle of the summer, that maybe isn't a peak shopping season, and they're successfully using PR to create an event around something that wouldn't normally be one."
Severson's company produces and distributes sponsored articles for its clients, which include Microsoft (MSFT), McDonald's (MCD) and Ford (F). He said the value and cost of an article varies based on the publication, but can be worth up to thousands of dollars.