Kimmel’s jokes about Dildo, NL, worth some $11M, province says

Guillermo Rodriguez of Jimmy Kimmel Live! accepts the key to Dildo from local official Andrew Pretty on behalf of the late-night TV host. Kimmel made light of the community for almost three weeks this month on his ABC show. (Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube)

Jimmy Kimmel’s satirical campaign to be mayor of Dildo, NL, has generated a lot of free advertising for the small community and the province, almost equal to what the government spends on marketing in an entire year. 

The late-night TV host made light of the Avalon Peninsula community for almost three weeks in August, riffing on its amusing name and even sending Guillermo Rodriguez, his sidekick on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to stay there for a week. 

The hundreds of segments, jokes and other references to Dildo reached some 45.1 million people, equal to an estimated advertising value of over $11.7 million, according to analysis by the provincial ministry of tourism. 

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

“The value of being able to get such exposure in such a short time period is absolutely tremendous.

Kimmel, during one of the many of recent Dildo-centric segments on his show. (Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube)

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

The town itself went through a tourism boom in August, thanks to the “Kimmel effect.” 

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

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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