$11M of Dildo jokes: Kimmel’s segments like big ad buy

Guillermo Rodriguez accepts the key to Dildo from Andrew Pretty on behalf of Jimmy Kimmel. Premier Dwight Ball was also part of the show’s segment. (Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube)

The “Kimmel effect” has proven quite profitable for Newfoundland and Labrador, one week after the late-night host wrapped up his running joke segments about Dildo. 

From Aug. 1 to Aug. 19, 361 media items with a total circulation of 45,128,463 ran, resulted in an estimated advertising value of over $11,739,542 for this province. 

“That’s quite significant when we have just under a $13 million provincial marketing budget,” said Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore.

The name of the Avalon Peninsula community may have been fun and games for Jimmy Kimmel and his writing team in Los Angeles, but their ongoing segment about the town of Dildo was a major tourism boom — and free advertising.

After learning a community named “Dildo” existed, Kimmel began a satirical campaign to be its mayor — even sending his sidekick on the show, Guillermo Rodriguez, to the town for a week. 

Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore. (Twitter)

‘Whole new light’

“The value of being able to get such exposure in such a short time period is absolutely tremendous,” Mitchelmore said Thursday.

“Jimmy Kimmel has put a whole new light on Newfoundland and Labrador. That’s quite significant. It’s not something that our provincial budget could buy.” 

“There are over 20,000 people that are working in the tourism industry, 2,800 businesses and. … they’re all very happy,” he said.

Jimmy Kimmel during a Dildo-centric segment for his late night talk show. (Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube)

But this is more than just a gift to Dildo, according to Mitchelmore.

“The people of Dildo and the business community there are elated, but the effect will be felt provincially.”

Looking toward the future, Mitchelmore sees value in similar exposure.

“I think there are all sorts of things that our creative team, and the Department of Tourism, and our marketing agency will certainly look at and explore as we continue to focus on our brand,” he said.

“This is something that was a gift.”

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