|How Would You Find PR in the Mayan Apocalypse?
By: Shawn Paul Wood
Seven days. Seven L - O - N - G days unti December 21. That's how long you have to check off those dusty, open squares on your "In case the Mayans were right" bucket list. Are you ready? In the absence of any Maya hanging around with a laundromat or a restaurant with those Armageddon deals, many businesses are figuring how to create a profit off the hubbub their pesky calendar has created. (P.S. Stay tuned for a quick history lesson at the end of this post. Just for the kid in you.)
Thanks to some trolling on the Intertube, we see some wanna-be marketing executives working overtime for the 'Man.' Here are some ingenious examples:
1. Apocalypse-themed trips, anyone? There are some Mexican Rivera hotels (where the ancient Maya called 'casa') offering bottom-line deals. Take the Rosewood Mayakoba Resort near Cancun, which offers the "Ultimate New Beginning" package with a private helicopter ride to two archeological sites, dinner on the beach, and spiritual cleansing by a Mayan shaman for $79,000 per couple. (Come on. You know one of those kooky Kardashians are doing this.) The Mahekal Beach Resort is also offering the commoner "Maya Awakening Package" for only $1,162. All the comforts of Armageddon, am I right?
2. "Hopping" to the end? In Escondido, Calif. A brewery — Stone Brewing Co. — has chimed in with its "Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA." Evidently, the beer can't stay on the shelves fast enough. According to one report, the beer is so popular in San Diego that it sold out in two hours after its launch in November. The IPA has since spread, and it's now sold in 10 states. The beer has 11 hops and a strict consume-by date of the Dec. 21. The idea actually came from a Facebook fan, who suggested a beverage to toast the apocalypse.
3. One last meal? When you think Mexican food, you would typically think about states along the Sun Belt, or even in Mexico, let's say. And then there's the raging demand for tacos in not-so-suspecting locales, such as London, Hong Kong, Sydney or Singapore. These places linked have made headlines because they have booked reservations until Dec. 21. Being a Texan, my last meal is going to be something I can't get every day of my life. You know, like...well, who am I kidding? I'm finding some fajitas with the quickness.
4. "Bunk" with a friend? Real estate agent Robert Vicino has booked spots in a 13,000-square-foot nuclear fallout bunker facility that he has developed in the Arizona desert. It costs $5,000 for an adult and half price for children. Pets are free. Sweet, right? The
loony bin...eh, facility can house 132 people in comfort for up to a year. Half the spaces are currently available. (No joke!)
5. Doomsday dating? Imagine meeting your betrothed over a panicky candlelit dinner, clutching to every bite like it's your last and possibly removing your gas mask before that good night kiss. Well, at SurvivalistSingles.com, that's the plan. The membership club
steals...eh, charges $5 a month. Incidentally, the club grew from 400 members at the end of 2010 to 1,640 by March 2012. Their slogan: "Don't face the future alone."
Well, that's it. And since the real companies that could benefit from this ballyhoo, such as Mayan Business Solutions (in Des Moines, Iowa of all places), Maya Construction (hailing from Chicago), or even Maya Asset Management (in London), have completely dropped the ball, I suppose it's my public service to help the prophecy pundits out there with a few ideas to spend their last days.
Oh, I almost forgot about that history lesson. If you believe in this mess, please turn your head, kids.
The rumors stem from the Mayan Long Count calendar, which was actually one of three used by the ancient Maya of Central America. So, who knows which calendar is right here?! That said, on Dec. 21, our Julian calendar coincides with the end of the b'ak'tun, or the 144,000-day cycle (5125-year-long) on the Mayan calendar. Experts have repeatedly noted that the ancient Maya did not see the end of the b'ak'tun as a sign of the end of the world; nonetheless, here we are.
Besides, ever since Julius Caesar created our calendar in 45 B.C.E., we have had 514 Leap Years. Mayans weren't keen on the Leap Year, which means the world should have ended seven months ago. Ah well, what do we know?
You know what they say...we need to party like there's no to-Maya. (Okay, sorry about that. I had to take a shot.)
Shawn Paul Wood
is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here
or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood