Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Carmageddon-inspired marketing pitches hit the spot, sometimes


This photo and caption accompanied an ad on Craigslist for $100 weaves. (Image from Craigslist)
The “Carmageddon,” a highway closure that starts Friday on Los Angeles’ freeway the 405, has encouraged celebrity traffic cops to take to Twitter, angered the Orthodox Jew community, and caused a wringing of hands by L.A.’s transportation-obsessed mayor, who predicts this weekend “will be an absolute nightmare.”

It’s also inspired a host of not-really-that-related Carmageddon-themed marketing pitches, including an ad for $100 weaves, whose pitch reads:  “Girl, is it worth going all the way to LA to get your hair done this weekend? I’d think not!”

Curbed LA, a blog on Los Angeles neighborhoods, rounds up some of the other ridiculous Carmageddon pitches. (And a few of them are actually working.) Here are some of the best:

1. The most successful pitch is sometimes the one that makes the most sense. JetBlue started $4 flights between Long Beach and Burbank for the weekend, a distance of only 40 miles, using the simple pitch: “Rise above the 405 freeway closure in LA.” The flight is 45 minutes long, but only because most of the “flight time” comes from taxiing on the ground.

Somewhere between two and four hours after the airline’s announcement, every single ticket was gone.

2. Carmageddon on Craiglist. Dont’ tell me this pitch for a two bedroom apartment at the Jefferson at Hollywood wouldn’t grab you: “CARMAGEDDON whaaaat!!?? LIVE close to EVERYTHING!” Craiglists also has a plethora of Carmageddon garage sale ads, as if all people want to do when stuck in traffic is go buy a lamp from the 1970’s they don’t need. And don’t forget to get your I Survived Carmageddon T-shirts.

3. SLS Hotel room and spa packages entice customers with this promise: “From 405 relief accommodations, to calming spa packages at the Ciel Spa, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills’ offerings are the perfect solution to stay out of the traffic and stay sane.”

The only problem: Once Carmageddon starts, it’s impossible to get from somewhere like Ventura Boulevard to Beverly Hills. How am I supposed to get a facial that way?

4. A rap band just released a song about the L.A. Freeway System with the hook: “Here is the perfect song for the nightmare weekend that is quickly approaching. ... The Song will identify your station with Intelligence and Humor and will help diffuse the anger of Road Rage. ... This is your chance to potentially save some lives!”

Not so sure the rappers were able to tap into all that Angeleno rage — the song has just seven watches on YouTube.

By  |  11:42 AM ET, 07/14/2011

 
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