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Beautiful women eat free

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A restaurant in Brazil did something unusual on Women's International Day this year.

The chain's locations told female customers that beautiful women would not have to pay anything for their meals. Only beautiful women, however, would qualify for the deal.


Yes, really.

But before you go all Gloria Allred on Spoleto – dubbed as "pasta fast food" – appreciate the beauty of this marketing campaign.

Employees were equipped with handheld mirrors and instructed to turn them on female customers who were interested in qualifying for a free meal. They asked each woman some variation of "are you beautiful?" From the video below, it doesn't look like they took "no" for an answer. Every woman that could say out loud that they were beautiful, ate for free.

The promotion was very good for business, with the company claiming a 35 percent sales increase for the day. With no overhead beyond writing off the free meals, Spoleto has managed to accumulate over 330,000 views on YouTube as of this story's publication. It's a case study in how the human element can make for powerful marketing. The increased sales for the day made the stunt an instant win for the business. However, they also reaped massive brand recognition gains, as well.

There are two lessons any small business can take away from the Spoleto "beautiful women" promotion. First, consider in-store or on-site promotions that not only attract customers, but make them want to tell their friends, and to be the first one to tell their friends. And second, make sure you produce a video, blog post, or other piece of shareable content to broadcast your success in such a promotion to the world.

Digital content editor Joe Ross is @joeross on Twitter.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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